Charles C. Butt, the chairman and chief executive officer of H.E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio, likes to stir the pot. The company for years has successfully practiced the art of traditional supermarket retailing with its H-E-B stores, operating primarily in Texas, but it has never been afraid to experiment with new formats and test new ideas. “That’s a company that welcomes chaos, almost,” said one industry observer, who asked not to be identified. “[Charles ...

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