Meijer Celebrates 90th Anniversary as a Family-Owned Midwest Retailer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 1, 2024 ~ Greenville, Mich. - In the midst of the Great Depression in 1934, local barber Hendrik Meijer took a chance and opened Meijer's Grocery with his wife Gezina and their two children, Johanna and Fred. The store was initially meant to cater to customers who visited Hendrik's barbershop, but it soon evolved into something much bigger.

Fast-forward to today, and Meijer is celebrating its 90th anniversary as a family-owned retailer with over 500 locations throughout six Midwest states. These include Meijer supercenters, grocery stores, neighborhood markets, express locations, and distribution and manufacturing facilities. With a team of more than 70,000 members, Meijer has become a household name in the region.

Executive Chairman Hank Meijer expressed his gratitude for the team that has helped the company grow over the years. "We have built an incredible team here at Meijer that is accomplishing great things and enjoys working together," he said. "They are the reason we've been able to evolve and grow over 90 years from a little grocery store to a new concept in retailing to an agile company with multiple formats."

From its humble beginnings as a small grocery store, Meijer has always been focused on providing customers with the best shopping experience possible. Along with low prices and excellent customer service, innovation has been key to exceeding customer expectations. Over the last nine decades, Meijer has introduced various innovations such as shopping carts, automatic doors, conveyor belts, supercenters, self-checkout lanes, mPerks loyalty program, curbside pickup, home delivery, and Shop & Scan technology.

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Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes emphasized the company's commitment to constantly improving its customers' experience. "Fred Meijer often said that customers don't need us; we need them," he said. "So that focus on earning our customers' business every day has been central to how we've operated. We are constantly evaluating how we can further elevate the experience our customers have when they shop with us, and innovation paired with great prices and excellent customer service will be how we continue to earn customers' business."

But Meijer's success is not just measured by its financial growth. The company also prides itself on creating a culture of dignity and respect for its team members. "It was important to Hendrik and Gezina Meijer that those who worked and shopped with them felt they were being treated with the dignity and respect all people deserve," Keyes commented. "Ninety years later, that sentiment remains a core part of our values and culture, informing how we treat each other."

Meijer offers its team members a variety of benefits, including weekly pay, discounts, flexible scheduling, career advancement opportunities, free college education, paid parental leave, child care discounts, multiple health insurance options, and 401(k) retirement contributions. These efforts have not gone unnoticed as Meijer was recently recognized as a Great Place to Work® for the sixth consecutive year. This certification is based on employee feedback across organizational culture, credibility, fairness, respect, camaraderie, and pride.

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Being an active part of the community has always been important to Meijer. The company consistently donates at least 6 percent of its annual profit to nonprofit organizations throughout the Midwest. This continued effort has positively impacted millions of people in the retailer's neighboring communities.

One of Meijer's most significant community engagement initiatives is its Simply Give hunger relief program. Since its launch in 2008, this program has generated over $90 million in donations to food pantries thanks to the generosity of Meijer customers and team members.

Hank Meijer reiterated his family's commitment to making a positive impact in the community. "My family never wanted Meijer to just be another business," he said. "We've always wanted to be a force for good by helping our communities address their most pressing needs, and we will continue to do that for the next 90 years."

As Meijer celebrates its 90th anniversary, it is clear that the company's success is not just measured by its financial growth but also by its commitment to providing an exceptional shopping experience for its customers and creating a positive impact in the community. With a strong focus on innovation, customer service, and community engagement, Meijer is poised to continue its legacy for many years to come.
Filed Under: Business

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