Every true Texan knows, "No store does more than my H-E-B."
We swear by it. We love it. And the statistics back that statement up.
In fact, Texans' support for the San Antonio-based grocer is so strong, it was not only ranked as Texas' top retailer, but top 20 among all American retailers in the nation, according to an annual list released by The National Retail Federation.
The annual list ranks the industry’s largest companies, according to sales.
H-E-B came in at No. 20 on the list after it reeled in $21.94 billion in retail sales in 2017. The company cracked the top 20 nationally with significantly less stores (330 stores) than most of those on the list, as well. The only retailer in the top 20 to gross more sales with less stores was Apple (272 stores).
In March, Business Insider dubbed H-E-B the "the best grocery store in the US." The beloved Texas grocery store graced the publication's eye after the Selena bag phenomenon, which was so popular it briefly crashed the retailer's website.
At the mountaintop of the retail world -- according to 2017 revenue sales -- were the usual suspects: No. 1 Walmart with $374.80 billion; No. 2. Kroger with $115.89 billion; No. 3. Amazon with $102.96 billion; No. 4 Costco with $93.08 billion; and No. 5 Home Depot with $91.91 billion. All of those except Amazon were in the top five in 2017.
However, H-E-B strongly competed with other household brand name retailers, such as No. 18 Macy's ($24.76 billion) and No. 19 Dollar General ($23.47 billion), and even surpassed popular stores like No. 28 Starbucks ($16.53 billion), No. 31 Sears ($14.35 billion), and No. 34 Subway ($13.61 billion).
H-E-B was the sixth highest ranked grocery store on the list and comfortably crowned as the top overall retailer in Texas.
The other Texas-based companies that cracked the Top 100 list were 7-Eleven (No. 32, Dallas-based), AT&T Wireless (No. 35, Dallas-based), J.C. Penney Co. (No. 38, Plano-based), Army & Air Force Exchange (No. 61, Dallas-based), Gamestop (No. 69, Grapevine-based), Academy (No. 78, Katy-based), Michaels (No. 88, Irving-based), Exxon Mobil Corp. (No. 92, Irving-based), Neiman Marcus (No. 93, Dallas-based) and Shell Oil Co. (No. 95, Houston-based).
H-E-B's origins date back to 1905, where Florence Butt opened the first C.C. Butt Grocery Store in Kerrville, Texas, with her savings of $60. The grocery store expanded to a second location in Del Rio in 1926 and the third, which opened on Main Avenue in San Antonio in 1942, was the first to don the name "H-E-B." For a history timeline of Texas' top grocer, click here.
So, how did H-E-B become so popular? There's no definitive statistics or proof to back this up, but surely its dedication to the community has to be part of it. From its donations and support during tough times like Hurricane Harvey to supporting non-profits across the Lone Star state, H-E-B has become more than just a grocery store -- but an integral part of the Texan community and culture.
So, a $60 investment in 1905 turned into $21.94 billion revenue sales in 2017? Not too shabby, H-E-B. Not too shabby at all.