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The San Antonio Business Journal reports that HEB plans to "build its smallest store in the chain in downtown San Antonio, a harbinger of what may come to Central Austin in the future." The company has gotten approval to open a 12,000-square-foot grocery store and gas station on South Flores Street and East Cesar Chavez Boulevard; the story notes that "the store in downtown San Antonio will be about one-sixth the size of an average HEB grocery store."

William Triplett, senior vice president of strategic design at HEB, tells the paper that "everyone always likes a bigger store because it allows us to increase our variety and offerings. We tried to make (the downtown location) as big as we could with the land available after a reasonable amount of parking, space for truck docks and the gas station."

Triplett says that HEB's biggest challenge going forward "is figuring out how to operate such a small store — especially in terms of delivery methods and stock."
KC's View:
With people in the US moving out of the suburbs and back to the cities, we're going to see more and more of this ... and I wonder if it will open the door for the kind of infrastructure innovations that the industry needs to be competitive and relevant to changing consumers.