Hutto city officials hope analysis spurs long-awaited grocery store

Staffers commissioned a study to analyze market area

Hutto officials hope a new study that analyzes the impact of a grocery store in town will help the city finally land a supermarket.

City officials and citizens have long said a grocery store is a top priority for the city. Hutto has the need and customer base to support a grocery store, officials said now the study proves it.

The study was done in mid-2014 by Ed Smith & Associates, which Assistant City Manager Micah Grau said is a respected firm with decades of grocery store analysis experience.

"It gives us a way to get our foot in the door with a grocery store," Grau said at a Nov. 20 City Council meeting. "Now we have data to back up that a grocery store would be profitable here."

Grau said analysts with the Ohio-based company studied customer buying habits, sales and the locations of more than two dozen grocery stores in the area. The data allowed the research firm to determine how a grocery store in Hutto would perform and how it would impact other stores nearby, among other factors.

The study examined the performance of area grocery stores, including H-E-B, Randalls, Sprouts Farmers Market, ALDI, Wal-Mart and Target, among others.

City Manager Karen Daly said in November that the study provides data that will help city staffers market Hutto as a good grocery store location.

Grau said potential spots for a grocery store include the budding Carmel Creek development at southwest corner of Hwy. 79 and FM 685 and Hansen's Corner, a commercial development north of Hwy. 79 currently anchored by the Home Depot.

H-E-B owns land in Hutto's unincorporated area adjacent to SH 130 and Gattis School Road.