H-E-B Brands Cell Phone Service

H.E. Butt Grocery Co. has started offering its customers prepaid cell phones and service under the brand name H-E-B Mobile. Phones and calling plans are being provided by Austin-based Fusion Mobile, which buys minutes through the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and manages the customer care for H-E-B. The supermarket began testing the service here two months ago and extended it to all

SAN ANTONIO — H.E. Butt Grocery Co. here has started offering its customers prepaid cell phones and service under the brand name H-E-B Mobile.

Phones and calling plans are being provided by Austin-based Fusion Mobile, which buys minutes through the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and manages the customer care for H-E-B.

The supermarket began testing the service here two months ago and extended it to all H-E-B stores, except those in the Houston area, late last month, according to Bill Morrow, chief executive officer of Fusion Mobile.

“A regional grocery chain like H-E-B has an exemplary relationship with shoppers, a large customer base and a business model where those customers go to the store at least once a week for other items,” Morrow said. All of these factors make H-E-B a strong provider of branded cell phones and prepaid minutes, he said.

H-E-B declined SN's request for comment, and Morrow said he was not at liberty to share the contractual terms of the partnership; however, Morrow did say, “Our numbers are growing week over week, with impressive gains,” in regard to the new service.

“H-E-B's name will carry weight in the local market, and may be better than some of the national brands,” said Frank Dell, president of Dellmart & Co., Stamford, Conn., a management consulting company.