When an Austin H-E-B Lost Power, Employees Let Customers Walk Out With Free Groceries

“That’s what we’ve come to expect of H-E-B.”

Hundreds of panicked shoppers where inside an Austin-area H-E-B when everything went dark on Tuesday afternoon.

"All of a sudden the power goes out, and you hear curse words and people sighing," Shelby Lasker, who was stocking up on much-needed supplies amid a severe winter storm, recalled to Austin360.

That's when employees at the H-E-B Plus in Leander made a decision that left some shoppers teary-eyed.

"They allowed people to continue to shop for another 10-15 minutes after the power went out and then let everyone leave the store without so much as a single dollar being asked for from the hundreds of people leaving the store," another customer, Tim Hennessy, recalled in a viral Facebook post.

"I salute H-E-B for the kindness they showed us, the thoughtfulness they showed us, the generosity they showed us, and the caring that they showed us (along with the other hundreds of fellow Texans in the store at that time)," Hennessy continued.

H-E-B Lost Power Free Groceries
PorqueNoStudios/Getty Images

Lasker told Austin360 that the gesture is yet another example of "just how amazing H-E-B has been through the pandemic."

"That's what we've come to expect of H-E-B," Leigh McAlister, a marketing professor at the University of Texas, told The New York Times. "It's from the heart and they're good at logistics. If their Texans need water, they can get it to them, because it's their Texans who are thirsty."

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