United Confirms Plan for Pecos Supermarket

Jun 14, 2019
Jon Fullbright

Pecos will officially be getting a second supermarket in the near future, after United Supermarkets announced on Tuesday they would be building a new store in the city starting later this year.

“The United Family is proud to announce its plan to serve the community of Pecos with a new grocery store, convenience store and fuel station,” the company announced in a press release on Tuesday. The confirmation came after a contract was recently signed to purchase land near the intersection of Cedar (U.S 285) and Lincoln street, between Pecos’ Walmart and the new Staybridge and Woodspring hotels.

“In the months ahead, The United Family will conduct feasibility studies relating to the proposed development of the property. It will be developed with a United Supermarkets grocery store, along with a United Express convenience store and fuel station, both of which have a planned opening of 2020,” the company announced.

Summitt 11 has been in negotiations with United’s parent company, Albertsons, on purchase of the land. United said the agreement was made with Summitt’s Bharat Bhakta, Jim Gissler and Troy Bathman, while Warren Creason of Creason Realty Company represented United.

Albertsons CEO Jim Donald and Chief Operating Officer Susan Morris were in Pecos on March 6 to get a first-hand view of an area off South Cedar Street the company is targeting for the United location. A decision originally had been planned for earlier this year, but was delayed to allow time for the visit and then for Albertson’s Major Task Committee to meet to discuss going through with the project.

The nearest United Supermarket to Pecos currently is in Seminole, 125 miles away, while Albertsons stores operate closer to Pecos, in Odessa and Carlsbad, N.M. United officials in Lubbock said they will conduct research and review the property in the coming months, in order to obtain a development plan which will benefit guests, the town of Pecos and surrounding communities.

“We are elated at the thought of becoming part of another West Texas family and look forward to the partnerships and friendships that will develop along the way through the construction and opening of these stores,” said Sidney Hopper, president, The United Family.

United noted that officials from the City of Pecos and Reeves County, Pecos Economic Development Corporation and Executive Director Ken Winkles, in addition to community advocates Derek and Sandra Zubeldia, were all instrumental in bringing United to Pecos.

The Zubeldias had worked last year to get Albertson/United’s Market Street supermarket in Odessa to test out its delivery service, using United’s STREETside online grocery delivery service to operate from the Market Street store to Pecos.

Zubeldia and the PEDC through Winkles also were involved over the past two years on getting United to build a store in Pecos, an action that had to be approved by Albertson’s officials at their Boise, Idaho headquarters.

The economic downturn from the late 1980s through the middle part of the last decade dropped the number of grocery stores in Pecos from five to just one, as the city’s population dropped by 30 percent during that time.

The oil boom over the past decade has caused the population to return to its 1980s levels and caused local sales tax revenues to rise from just over $750,000 a year in 2003 to $1,082,215 in Wednesday report from the Texas Comptroller’s office, which was based on sales in Pecos made during the month of April. The city received over $6.68 million from its 11⁄2-cent sales tax during the first half of 2019.