Will its newest small store format make Meijer a downtown destination?
It turns out that Meijer, originator of the supercenter concept, didn’t go small enough with its last attempt at a more modestly sized format. Now, the chain is opening a new neighborhood grocery store concept that is downright tiny in comparison to the 200,000-square-foot monsters that have made Meijer a retailing force across much of the Midwest.
Yesterday, marked the groundbreaking for Meijer’s new Bridge Street Market in the chain’s home town of Grand Rapids, MI. The 37,000-square-foot store is a distinct departure for Meijer from its supercenter format. It is intended to offer customers in the city’s downtown area a place where they can take care of “fill-in” grocery shops in between trips to the chain’s big stores.
Meijer recently shuttered two 90,000-square-foot stores in the Chicago area. President and CEO Rick Keyes told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press that those locations were an attempt to recreate the chain’s supercenter in a smaller footprint.
Meijer sees its newest concept as a neighborhood fixture that can be replicated in other urban areas where space is at a premium. The Bridge Street location will serve as an anchor for a mixed used development in Grand Rapids’ downtown. The store, which is targeted to open in the early fall of 2018, will feature fresh produce, a deli, fresh-cut meat, a bakery, groceries, cleaning and paper products.
“Our customers are asking for this,” Mr. Keyes told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press. “We think there are a lot of communities that would benefit from a Bridge Street type market.”
In an interview with MiBiz, Mr. Keyes said Meijer is seeing “a lot of customers” moving into downtown areas. The chain is hoping to take what it learns from its Bridge Street location and open similar stores in other communities.
“The supercenter will continue to be the engine of our business,” Mr. Keyes told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press. “We will continue to focus on that and growing that. This will be an alternative format that allows us to match a need our customers are telling us they want.”
- Bridge Street Market Breaks Ground on Unique Urban Grocery Store – Meijer
- Meijer CEO says small urban store being built in Grand Rapids could be first of many – MLive/The Grand Rapids Press
- Hank Meijer says dad would have been proud of retailer’s new store format – MLive.com
- Right time to diversify away from big box format, Meijer CEO says – MiBiz
- Reports: Meijer to close two smaller-format Chicago-area stores – MiBiz
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see a Bridge Street-like concept having legs for Meijer beyond Grand Rapids? Do you see any negatives for the chain’s supercenters?