An American businessman, best known to the world for the HEB supermarket chain in Texas and northern Mexico, Charles Clarence Butt, is a man with a net worth of $12 billion. He is behind one of the largest privately-held companies in America and the largest one in the Texas state. The HEB brand is known for its quality customer service and competitive pricing as well as its remarkable donations to charity.
Over the years, Charles’s brand, including the Central Market brand, a Whole Foods Inspire supermarket chain has a huge variety of gourmet options, a café with live music performance on occasional nights and cooking classes. All of them have made this brand an innovative supermarket.
Butt was born on 3rd February 1938. In 1971, he inherited his family’s San Antonio–based H-E-B supermarket chain. Currently, it has more than 300 stores and a profit margin of $20 billion in sales. HEB was founded by his grandfather in 1905. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a bachelor’s degree, he joined the Sigma Schi Fraternity. He then completed his MBA from Howard business school.
Charles was made the CEO, Chairman and President of the H.E. Butt Grocery Company in 1971. This grocery company is the nation’s 15th largest grocery chain in terms of revenue. Of the company’s 269 divisions, most of them are large-format based combination of food and pharmacy stores and 90of them are Pantry stores, featuring low prices and designed for convenience in the rural areas between southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana.
Estimated 60 divisions of the company’s stores are based on self-service Gas N Go gasoline islands. The company also manufactures its plastic bottles and runs a photofinishing laboratory. Back in 1924, with the idea of expanding this global market chain, Butt opened a new store about 60 miles from Kerrville in a town called Junction. Charles’s innovative cash-and-carry system and superior inventory made his store one of the finest. His continuous experimentations and formulations landed him with new services and products and since then he started to add everything from pots and pans to tools and textiles into his inventory.
In 1926, Butt opened his first Piggly-Wiggly in Del Rio. Just a year later, he opened two more stores in Brady and Gonzales and then again another two new outlets in San Benito and Harlin Gen in 1928. Three years later, Charles’s exquisite planning had already opened a total of 24 stores. It was also Butt’s Piggly-Wiggly that served as the only grocery store to have opened immediately after the 1933 Rio Grande hurricane.
In 1935, the company’s name was changed to H.E. Butt Grocery Company. In 2002, H-E-B introduced its Excellence in Education Awards that has become the biggest annual recognition of public school campuses, districts in Texas and school educators with more than $9.5 million in awards till date.
In 2001, November, Butt was awarded by the Mexican government the Aguila Azteca medal for his business dealings and philanthropic contributions in Mexico. In 2013, he was ranked by the AdvisoryCloud as the #5 CEO on its Top Chief Executive List.