Meijer (pronounced "Meyer") is a retail giant in the Midwest. The company's huge combination grocery and general merchandise stores average 200,000 to 250,000 sq. ft. each (or about the size of four regular grocery stores) and stock about 120,000 items, including Meijer private-label products. Meijer operates more than 200 locations; half are in Michigan, while the rest spread across four other nearby states. Customers can choose from 40-plus departments, including apparel, electronics, hardware, and toys. Most stores also sell gasoline, offer banking services, and have multiple in-store restaurants. Founder Hendrik Meijer opened his first store in 1934; the business is still family owned and run.
In addition its large combination grocery and general merchandise stores, Meijer operates about 175 gas stations, a pair of car washes, and about a half a dozen smaller Meijer Grocery Express stores.
A more recent Meijer store concept was tailored for its key Chicago market called Meijer Marketplace. At 90,000 square feet (relatively small for Meijer) one of these "mini" supercenters is located in Melrose Park. The Melrose Park store offers both food and general merchandise, and stock foods popular with Hispanics and Italians, in a bid to cater to local tastes.
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Meijer has more than 105 stores in its home state. Ohio is the chain's second-largest market with over 40 stores, followed by Indiana and Illinois with about 35 stores and 25 stores, respectively. The retailer has about 10 shops in Kentucky.
Sales and Marketing
In 2014 Meijer formed a multi-year partnership with The Milwaukee Brewers (the home team in a market in which it plans to expand). The deal includes branding on both the right-center and left-center field walls at Miller Park. Additional advertising will also appear on the team's official website. Meijer also courts customers with it "mPerks" digital coupon program.
One of America's largest private companies, Meijer's stores rang up an estimated $15 billion in sales in fiscal 2014 (ended January), compared to $14.6 billion in fiscal 2013.
Although the discount superstore format is most often referred to in conjunction with rival Wal-Mart, Meijer is its pioneer. But that hasn't stopped the world's #1 retailer from muscling in on Meijer's markets. Meijer is also facing increased pressure from warehouse club stores, drugstores, and supermarket chains, like Kroger. In response, the chain has added fresh produce and meat departments to improve its grocery offering. Some of that produce is purchased locally through the company's "Home Grown" initiative. In March 2013 the company acquired a local family-owned dairy in Holland, Michigan to supply milk to its stores in Michigan. Meijer plans to invest more than $8 million to expand the dairy plant, which it renamed Purple Cow Creamery (formerly Bareman's Dairy).
Meijer is also expanding its store count. In early 2015, it planned to open a new store in Manistee, Michigan, along with a handful of new stores in Wisconsin (Wauwatosa, Oak Creek, and Kenosha) with the hiring of 1,000 employees from the region. In 2013, the company opened its 200th store, and entered the Milwaukee market after spending $17 million on 17.5 acres of property to put a large store in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. In 2012, the company broke ground on its first grocery supercenter in Detroit.
The company has also been renovating its existing stores to differentiate its stores and grow sales. In early 2015, for example, it partnered with Skechers to put a 804-square-foot Skechers concept shop -- the largest-ever shop created by the footwear company -- in one of its Grand Rapids, Michigan stores.