H-E-B'S PANTRY FOODS OFFERS 'WALL OF VALUES'

SAN ANTONIO -- H-E-B Grocery Co. here is offering customers a "great wall of values" in its Pantry Foods locations."We've built another way to bring you extra low prices," the chain told customers in a full-page, color newspaper advertisement introducing the concept. H-E-B and Pantry Foods officials declined to comment on the promotion, saying the program was too new.The ad said the "great wall of

SAN ANTONIO -- H-E-B Grocery Co. here is offering customers a "great wall of values" in its Pantry Foods locations.

"We've built another way to bring you extra low prices," the chain told customers in a full-page, color newspaper advertisement introducing the concept. H-E-B and Pantry Foods officials declined to comment on the promotion, saying the program was too new.

The ad said the "great wall of values" will be stacked with an average of at least six items "customers use every day," such as canned fruits and vegetables, soft drinks and cleaning products. Among the items making up a sample display pictured in the ad were canned fruits, canned vegetables and canned soda.

"We take advantage of special purchasing opportunities and pass the savings on to you," the ad read. "Even when it means buying 20 truckloads of a single brand or two rail cars full. This gives you the advantage of wholesale prices for even a single item." The ad, which ran on a Saturday in late January, featured an example from that week's selection, a 28-ounce can of whole or crushed Libby's tomatoes for 62 cents.

Industry sources familiar with H-E-B and Pantry Foods said indications are the new departments, at the front of Pantry units, are being well received.

"As far as I understand, it's working out pretty well," said one source in Houston. "I think they did some Libby's vegetables or Libby's fruit on an in-and-out, and ordered something like 19 trucks, so it's working out real well for them. They're pleased with it, from what I can gather," said the source.

He theorized the chain might be running the program to call attention to its competitive prices.

"The prices are fantastic," he said. "Pantry's prices are probably better than anybody's in Houston, so you can imagine they're slicing margins to do that."