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Published reports say that a price war has broken out in a number of Texas markets, especially as alternative formats such as Wal-Mart, Target and Costco have ramped up the pressure on more traditional food retailers.

HEB Food Stores reportedly has lowered prices on some 12,000 items in its Austin area stores, a move similar to those made in both San Antonio and Waco.

Safeway-owned Randalls reportedly has been offering double coupons and triple coupons in the Austin market to compete with the big box stores.
KC's View:
While we are second to none in our admiration of HEB, in some ways we hate to see it when companies like that get into the price war game.

It means that it isn’t relying on all the differential advantages that it offers, and maybe is playing a little bit of defense. (Though we concede that sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.)

We also imagine that of any company, HEB is well prepared to build on its strengths and still be competitive in the price arena.

But it seems to us that in general, when the battle is over price, it is rare that anyone in the mainstream food retailing business wins.