Grocer Arlan's Markets buys out Handy Andy
Stores in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Schertz, Seguin undergoing remodeling
A new name in grocers is entering the local market after Arlan's Markets, a Houston-area-based company, purchased six Handy Andy stores.
Three San Antonio locations located on the south and west sides of the city, as well as Handy Andys in New Braunfels, Schertz and Seguin, are undergoing major facelifts under new ownership.
"It's going to look very different," said Ames Arlan, president of the family-owned company while visiting the New Braunfels store. "We've ordered all new checkout stands that will be more efficient and all new shopping carts."
More than a new produce stands and new freezers, Arlan said they are looking to add products.
"All of the the departments are trying to get more variety and selection in the store," he said.
The beer aisle will double in size, and the wine department will triple in size, he said.
In addition to name brands, the store will carry the Parade as its value label.
Another noticeable difference should be price. Employees were marking down many of the old Handy Andy prices. For example, a jar of Miracle Whip that was $5.99 is now $3.99.
"We're definitely going to be lower priced," he said.
While the store aims to be competitive, the store's niche isn't as a superstore, but rather a small neighborhood store.
"We're not trying to be and HEB and not trying to be a Walmart," Arlan said. "We're just trying to give people the option of their neighborhood store back."
It's an option shopper Betty Moore appreciates.
"I don't like to walk myself to death to find what I want," Moore said.
Another shopper, Eva Alvarez, said she also likes the convenience of a smaller footprint store.
"I walk in, I need something, I walk out," she said. "It's not like HEB and Walmart, (which) always so busy and you have to walk to the back to get something.
Arlan's Markets has been in business since 1991 and has four stores in the Houston and Galveston areas. It also acquired three City Markets in Austin along with the six Handy Andys.
All Handy Andy employees retained their jobs and their seniority, Arlan said.
"Hopefully we will be adding jobs," he said.
The stores will undergo major remodeling inside and out and are expected to be complete in the spring.
"Basically, I'm trying to breathe some life into old rundown neighborhood stores," Arlan said.
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