Meijer thinks smaller (but not small) with its new grocery concept
Meijer is known as a pioneer of the supercenter concept where customers can get whatever they need in a single trip to a massive store. Now, however, the retailer is thinking a bit smaller with a new store concept focused on providing an easily navigated shopping experience focused on grocery.
The retailer plans to open two stores early next year in Michigan under the Meijer Grocery banner. Both stores will be located in the Detroit suburbs of Macomb and Lake Orion.
Meijer Grocery stores will range between 40,000 square feet and 75,000 square feet. Store customers can participate in the chain’s rewards program and will have access to the same services offered in store Meijer’s supercenters.
The new format stores are meant to facilitate weekly shopping trips as well as last-minute fill-in shopping and will feature the following departments:
- Fresh produce;
- Fresh meat/full-service deli;
- Bakery (with in-store cake decorators);
- Dry grocery;
- Health and beauty care;
- Baby, pets and consumables;
- Card and party/floral.
The condensed set of offerings is missing many familiar non-grocery fixtures of Meijer superstores, such as toys, electronics, apparel and home/garden.
The average size of a standard Meijer (formerly MeijerThrifty Acres) store is between 150,000 square feet and 250,000 square feet, according to a recent article by the Belleville News-Democrat.
While the two Meijer Grocery stores represent the chain’s first attempt to open a smaller version of its superstore, this is not the first time that Meijer has experimented with a smaller store.
In 2018 and 2019, Meijer opened two small-format, “neighborhood market-style” stores in two Michigan cities — a store called Bridge Street Market in downtown Grand Rapids and one called Woodward Corner Market by Meijer in downtown Royal Oak. Both stores have a selection of local and artisanal products in addition to national brands.
The two earlier small-format stores came in an era when national chains such as Target were making similar moves, launching flexible-format stores to weave themselves into urban environments where big box stores would not fit.
- Meijer Introduces New Grocery Store Concept to Provide Fresh, Convenient Shopping Options Closer to Home – Meijer
- Meijer Grocery
- What is Meijer, grocery supercenter owner opening in IL? – Belleville News-Democrat
- Will miniature Meijers be a big hit? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How do you envision Meijer using its new grocery concept in addition to its supercenters as it grows its store base? Will one concept or the other be the driving force behind Meijer’s future growth?