Meijer focuses on slow, steady growth in Michigan

11/18/2011 10:17:00 AM
David Mitchell

Michigan’s population may be shrinking, but Meijer Inc. continues to grow.

Meijer added a new 191,000-square-foot supercenter in Lincoln Township, Mich., and a smaller Meijer Marketplace in Melrose Park, Ill., this year. The additions give the Grand Rapids-based retailer 197 total locations in five states, including 100 stores in Michigan — the only state to lose population in the past decade.

“As we’ve added stores the last five years our focus has been on slow and steady growth,” said Meijer spokesman Frank Guglielmi. “That’s been our mantra. We don’t want to push too hard. That approach has helped us grow during a difficult economy.”

Meijer plans to added two new stores, one each in Michigan and Illinois, in 2012, Guglielmi said.

Meijer has opened about 20 stores since 2007, and Guglielmi said those new stores are consistent with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, standards, the benchmark for the design, construction and operation of buildings from the United States Green Building Council.

The Lincoln Township store has the following green features:

  • a large percentage of construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled into usable building supplies;
  • the store uses 40% less water than a typical store through conservation devices and fixtures;
  • a reflective roof reduces heat buildup; and
  • high-efficiency light fixtures and advanced heating and cooling systems reduce energy consumption.

Meijer, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, also remodeled 10 of its stores this year.

“We’re really aggressive with remodeling our older locations,” Guglielmi said. “Every year we upgrade our stores to make sure they meet our standards and to make sure we are meeting our customers’ needs.”

The remodels also offer an opportunity to make the stores more energy efficient. For example, a renovation of a 31-year-old Benton Harbor store, which was completed in April, included upgrades to the interior and exterior lighting and heating and refrigeration systems.

Spartan opens stores

Meijer Inc., isn’t the only Grand Rapids-based retailer with a plan for slow and steady growth.

Spartan Stores Inc. opened two new stores and completed five remodels in 2011.

Spartan, which owns and operates 97 stores in Michigan under the D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen’s Markets and VG’s Food and Pharmacy banners, announced during its annual meeting in August that it plans major remodels of eight stores next year.


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