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H.E.B. will close Crosby store

By BOBBY HORN JR.

CROSBY— And then there were two. As of Sept. 29 Crosby will see the number of grocery stores fall from three to two, with the closing of the HEB Pantry store on FM 2100.

A fixture in the Crosby community for the past 13 years, HEB’s corporate office said they are closing the store because of slow sales. “Unfortunately, a combination of a slowing economy and changing market conditions impacted our sales volume,” said Hal Collett, senior vice president of the HEB Houston Division.

HEB refused to say that the planned opening of a Super Wal-Mart in Crosby next summer was the cause of the closure, citing that the term “market conditions” was a wide umbrella that could include many factors.

While the fate of the store is known, what will happen to its 51 employees is not known. Management of the local store refused to answer any questions concerning the closure, referring all inquiries to corporate. Fred Smith, vice president of Human Resources for HEB, said that employees would be given the option of transferring to other locations. As of press time, HEB has not said how many employees have accepted the transfer offer. A spokesperson for the HEB Pantry in Baytown said they have no idea how many employees would be transferred to their store.

Bill Dybala, with Crosby Finer Foods, said that he expects their sales to increase with the closing of HEB. This increase, he said, would only be temporary until the Super Wal-Mart opens. Dybala said that he wasn’t surprised by the HEB announcement, noting that it was typical of the company to close low-performing Pantry stores while concentrating on their larger core stores.

Management of the local Kroger store refused to answer any questions related to HEB, referring all inquiries to their consumer affairs office in Houston.