Meijer, which operates 224 stores, began in 1938 when barber Hendrik Meijer purchased $328.76 worth of merchandise on credit to serve customers during the Great Depression. Photo via fb.com
Meijer is investing $160 million this year in communities all over the Midwest.
The local retail superstore announced today it is planning to build six new supercenters and undertake five major remodeling projects in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. The projects will create 1,500 new jobs, according to a Meijer statement.
The six new supercenters will be opened across Meijer's regional footprint: Swartz Creek and Detroit; Portage and Warsaw, Ind. and Danville and Evergreen Park, Ill. Each Meijer store opening represents at least 250 full-time and part-time jobs.
The Michigan remodel projects include the Knapp’s Corner location in Grand Rapids, as well as stores in Lansing, Flint and Taylor. The fifth location scheduled for remodeling is in Springfield, Ill.
The remodeling projects will include facility enhancements such as heating, refrigeration, exterior lighting and parking lot maintenance. Meijer also hopes the introduction of new technology during the remodeling process will reduce energy usage in these stores.
Two of the remodel projects will be much more extensive than the others.
The Knapp’s Corner remodel, at 1997 E. Beltline NE, will test design elements in preparation for a possible new flagship model for Meijer stores. Full details on the Knapp's Corner remodel are below.
The Lansing Meijer project will be a complete 14-month rebuild of the aging store, turning it into a practically brand-new location.
Meijer Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer Hank Meijer said his company’s "slow, steady growth" has allowed the company to focus on its customers, employees and keep a local perspective.
“We are pleased to continue to invest in the Midwest communities that have supported us for so long,” Meijer said. “By keeping prices low and maintaining our focus on customer service, we have been able to continue to grow during a tough economic cycle.”
The Knapp's Corner remodel will feature "new concepts, department designs, a completely new exterior and an expanded fresh food area," according to a fact sheet on the remodel from Weber Shandwick.
Meijer describes the new design as "state-of-the-art," and the design will "influence the look" of its new stores and remodel projects.
The remodeled Knapp's Corner store will be the same size as the existing store, but its re-designed interior layout will feature "increased sales-floor space for products."
Knapp's Corner remodel highlights
- A “meal solution” area will be added, so customers can purchase fresh, made-to-order sandwiches, sushi and pizza. The meal solution area will also feature window views, so customers can see product being made by hand, including meat preparation, bread and pizza
- There will be on-site specialty cheeses from around the world, and a kiosk with olive oils and vinegars for customers to taste and fill their own bottles
- The produce entrance will feature a wall of produce and fresh-cut flowers, creating a "vista of freshness" for customers
- The home area will have a boutique design with colorful displays of towels, bedding and housewares
- Apparel will feature a “shop” concept with 12-foot-high walls and specialty lighting to highlight product, along with updated fitting rooms
- Wider aisles, lower illuminated shelving and enhanced signage will upgrade the health and beauty care department, along with enhanced skin and beauty care product areas
- Pharmacy will feature a more convenient drive thru, an enhanced consultation room with frosted doors and more windows and larger waiting and pharmacist consultation areas. It will also focus on customer interaction with more and larger windows
- A hearing center for customers to purchase hearing aids and meet with a specialist who will check their hearing and hearing aids
- The card and party department will be enhanced with a Papyrus-brand boutique and party shop
- The electronics department will be enhanced by an updated book, school and office area to create an overall “bookstore” experience
- The sports department will feature floor standing apparel fixtures and displays for equipment, camping chairs and sleeping bags
- The new garden center will feature all new concrete, galvanized racking, shade structure and a greenhouse. The perimeter walls will be replaced with decorative fencing, including a loading area for bulk purchases
- The remodeled store will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, compliant standards, and all the steel and concrete that will be removed from the existing building will be recycled
- The refrigeration compressor racks will be replaced with a new, energy-efficient system