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Here's a good Google Earth image capture of the Lincoln Park location.

As seen here the building still looks like a Super K-mart on the outside. Although I'm sure Meijer had to made a few adjustments to the interior. However this building was a super center in the first place. So its pretty much ready made for Meijer. All good ol' Fred may have had to do is merely swap out K-mart's interior graphics program with his own, hang Meijer Signs outside, and boom, we have a Meijer store.

Does anybody know how long it took for Meijer to convert this building? I'm guessing six months if that from initial purchase to grand opening.

superkmarttomeijerdetrixo2.jpg

Edited by tamias6

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I do not like the new "Grand Hotel" line of product, including peanut brittle, taffy, white deck rocking chairs, flip-flops and tote bags, beach umbrellas, and faux geraniums. (Why on earth would I buy a fake one? You stock live ones, Fred.)

Grand Hotel evokes memories of overpriced inconvenience and "Tradition" in the name of pack-rat-ism. (Ever seen their lower entrance walls, covered with every framed GH mention imaginable? They'll probably print this out and slap it up by opening day.) Takes a couple hours to get your luggage delivered. You X the menu boxes and they bring you something else. Can't walk here, can't ride your bike there, good luck getting anything out of a presentation in the pillared conference rooms. Did I mention overpriced? Best time I ever had there was when the place is closed.

In contrast, Fred evokes an image of convenience, it's there when you want it, they have everything you need, and if it's not on sale today, just wait a week.

The article in the paper stated that the two families are friends and this was a natural collaboration. Um, ok. I haven't noticed the goods exactly flying off the shelves, either.

[curmudgeonly today]

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I saw at least some of the GH line in the south concourse of the Alpine Meijer last week. Though I've never been to GH myself, the product line seemed fine to me, but I wasn't signing Ode to Joy about it either. <_<

Edited by tamias6

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Tamias:

I hope it isn't too much to ask for, but I would like to know if you wouldn't mind drawing a diagram the interior of the meijer store on 28th street and Kalamazoo Avenue. It's been ages since I've last been to that store and don't even remember it at all. But these are some guesses I have though. As to what I think, the retail side is on the right/west side of the store, groceries on the back of the store, and maybe more retail space on the left with clothes in the center??? Or if anyone could tell me in as much detail what the meijer store on 28th/kazoo looks like? Thanks in advance.

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I saw at least some of the GH line in the south concourse of the Alpine Meijer last week. Though I've never been to GH myself, the product line seemed fine to me, but I wasn't signing Ode to Joy about it either. <_<

If you bought some of it, you could enjoy GH ambiance whithout leaving home. Or something.

[they forgot to merch air freshener, for the authenic Mackinac Island experience]

Edited by Veloise

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Its been a long time since the last time I've been to the 28th/ K'zoo store. So my memory is of its interior is a bit blurry. But anyway this is a rough diagram of how the store is laid out.

storelayoutgl2.jpg

At about 150,000 sq. feet, allot of which is taken up by back rooms, the store is very small in comparison to new Meijer stores. Add in the odd shape of the building and haphazard layout, conditions inside are very cramped indeed. Not to mention that the building itself is very tired and worn. In short its old, obsolete, and in disparate need to be replaced by a state of the art facility. But surprisingly business there is quite brisk. The parking lot is always pack and allot of people do their shopping there.

The only problem other than small size and obsolescence that I can see is shoplifting. However an extensive amount of security cameras, one in just about every aisle helps deter shoplifters. Also the store director seems to have a knack at dealing with shop lifters caught red handed. The last time I visited this store I saw the director parading a teenager throughout the store. I could hear allot of snickering among shoppers that caught sight of this as the poor teen had taped to his chest a poster board sign that read "Look Everybody! I stole this hat!" An arrow was drawn pointing to said hat on the teens head.

Even though a renovation to Meijer's latest store format would proved to be an uphill battle for this old workhorse, I hope Meijer can do something to this location to bring it up to modern standards or replace the store with a new one so this location can remain competitive in today's high stakes and down right cut throat world of retail.

Speaking of which it would be possible to replace the 28th St. and K'zoo store with a larger store without losing too much parking. Here's a Sketchup file of my idea on how to do it. At 195,000 sq. ft. my model is the same size as the new store that will replace the Plainfield Ave. Meijer. In fact, this model is a copy-and-paste of my Plainfield Prediction Model with modification made to the loading docks and garden center to make the model fit on to the property.

195000sqftmeijerstudyhc8.jpg

The only question is willingness of Meijer to close this location for the year and a half needed to demolish the existing building and build a new store. However I don't think Meijer would have much choice as land big enough to accommodate a new store is no where in sight.

There is Indian Trails Golf Course. But handing over that property to Meijer would prove to be a huge political black eye for both the city of GR and Meijer. Its also an idea I would not support.

Tamias:

I hope it isn't too much to ask for, but I would like to know if you wouldn't mind drawing a diagram the interior of the meijer store on 28th street and Kalamazoo Avenue. It's been ages since I've last been to that store and don't even remember it at all. But these are some guesses I have though. As to what I think, the retail side is on the right/west side of the store, groceries on the back of the store, and maybe more retail space on the left with clothes in the center??? Or if anyone could tell me in as much detail what the meijer store on 28th/kazoo looks like? Thanks in advance.

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Thanks for the drawing. Is the customer service desk in that same area where you mentioned that the bank is at? Also where the garden center is at, did that used to be an entrance to the store there? For anyone else that goes to the store often. One thing I would like to know if the lane numbers are still in the shape of the maroon triangles?? I don't think meijer would go for closing the store down to rebuild it. Another idea I may have, but I'm not sure of if the property is big enough is for them to demolish the richwood industries where the old K-mart used to be on 28th SW near the freeway and build a new meijer store there. Or maybe demolish that big super mall on the other side of Kalamazoo and on 28th and build the store there. It's kinda hard to do stuff out in that area.

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Thanks for the drawing. Is the customer service desk in that same area where you mentioned that the bank is at? Also where the garden center is at, did that used to be an entrance to the store there? For anyone else that goes to the store often. One thing I would like to know if the lane numbers are still in the shape of the maroon triangles?? ...

Service desk is where the bank is marked. I've never seen maroon triangles.

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I had some errands to take care of down on 28th street today. So I decided to take some photos of the 28th/ K'zoo Meijer while I was down there.

The arch is perhaps the signature feature of this building. It was added back in the 60's when this store was transformed from one of a collection of Meijer supermarkets into the first Meijer Thrifty Acres. Ahead of its time this particular Meijer store was one of the first places to introduce the concept of one stop shopping to the US by combining a full line supermarket with a discount department store under one roof. The current facade work was added back in the late 1980's which sadly obscures the graceful space age lines of the arch itself and a massive glass curtain wall it accommodated. What is left of the original glass curtain wall are the windows of the mezzanine tucked under the arch.

archnj4.jpg

This is the rest of the store's front facade. It consists of a series of rambling additions that grew this building westward right up to the this locations western most property line. A 100 foot section of this building just west of the arch is what is left of the original supermarket. When this store was made into Thrifty Acres, the Arch was added to the east of the supermarket while an 80,000 sq. ft addition was tacked on its west wall. In this configuration. The Arch and original supermarket housed an enlarged supermarket and checkout lanes while the 80,000 sq. foot addition housed the retail section of the store. Eventually the supermarket section was moved to its current location along the east half of the 80,000 sq. addition.

Back in to the mid 80's the western most addition (the portion at the far end of the building with the higher roof line) was added to give more room to the retail section. It also gave the building its present "T" shape. I believe seasonal and furniture is location there. In the late 80's the current facade was added and the garden center was place off the rear side of the building.

restoffacadegp0.jpg

This is a closer look at the western most addition and a peculiar feature it has. There by itself at the end of the facade is a lonely garage door. It sits about 7-8 feet below the nominal floor level of this building. Does this mean the 28th/K'zoo store is the only Meijer that features a basement?

basementdc7.jpg

Moving eastward along the front of the store we encounter this set of mystery doors. They are located on the western half of a long bump out accommodating a glass curtain wall that illuminates the store's west checkout lanes. These Mystery Doors as I will call them, are just that, a complete mystery. By the looks of them they are not used as a customer entry. Sunk about 5 to 6 feet below the building's nominal floor level, I can't really see them being used for cart storage either. So why are they there? What are they used for? Perhaps only those whom built this store know the answer.

mysterydoorsjz7.jpg

Capping off the east end of the glass bump out containing the mystery doors is this retail entrance. Generous in size, it features 2 entry doors and 2 exit doors. A duplicate set of doors 20 feet inside creates an "airlock" vestibule to reduce drafts and thus reduces the heating and cooling expenses of this old workhorse. These doors provide customer access to the western half of the store and are served by 15 or so checkout lanes if I remember right.

retailentrylj0.jpg

About 40 feet to the east of the mentioned retail entrance, is this area of the facade that was once the original supermarket. Under the canopy was perhaps the original entrance to the supermarket. However renovations in the mid 80's and the recent addition of a Pharmacy Drive-Up window have sealed off this entrance leaving the canopy to welcome bewildered customers to a solid cinder block wall.

formerentryfi8.jpg

I believe this Pharmacy Drive-Up window was added in 2001. How Meijer managed to shoe horn this feature into an already spatially challenged building is IMO a divine miracle.

driveupwinqq0.jpg

This is the north east Arch Entrance. It is one of two entrances serving the arch and the eastern half of the store. Despite the many patchwork renovations that somehow keep this store functioning, this Entrance and its sibling at the SE corner of the Arch are in their original locations as defined when this store became Thrifty Acres back in the mid 60's.

nearchentryez9.jpg

Located on the apex of the arch is one of two store signs emblazoning the building. As seen here, this sign is of the previous company logo which was replaced by the company's current "joy dots" logo a few years ago. Displaying very strong old fashion "supermarket" overtones, this old logo is no longer relevant to the image Meijer Inc. wants to project. As a grocer, Meijer has always enjoyed a stellar reputation which is why it has so many loyal customers, myself included. However, no one has really paid much attention to its general merchandise offerings. To address this, Meijer's latest store format and an ongoing image make over, seeks make the company's general merchandise offerings on par with its strong grocery offerings.

signsr2.jpg

The SE Arch Entrance. Like its sibling on arch's NE corner, this entrance serves the arch and the eastern half of the store. These two entrances together are served by the store's primary set of checkout lanes located on the center north/south axis of the arch.

searchentryiu3.jpg

Located just off the rear of the building amongst loading docks is this store's garden center. When my family used to shop at this store regularly 18 years ago, this area was additional parking serving a rear store entrance complete with its own set of checkout lanes. Back in the late 80's this garden center was added by merely fencing off this area of the parking lot, and adding a small canopy over the rear entrance. The rear entrance was then converted into access to the garden center by the removal of the rear checkout lanes. The area left behind by the checkout lanes was handed over to the grocery section and made into an enlarged produce dept.

gardencenterkj1.jpg

As seen here in these images, this Meijer store is an old and long since obsolete retail environment. Despite a patchwork of additions and renovations to keep this store going, its clearly obvious that Meijer sorely needs to take drastic measures to revive and modernize this locations so it can remain competitive in today's demanding retail world.

Edited by tamias6

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Ty for the pictures. They all look very nice. An issue I noticed for that property is that there a set of power poles/lines all behind the store. To try and build a new store on that property would be a challenge.

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Thanks a bunch.

I believe the power lines do not run all the way across the property though. Instead, similar to how electricity and phone service is carried to a rural homestead situated very far from the street, these utility polls carry power, phone, and data services to the store. If this store were built today, these utilities would most likely be buried below grade instead of carried to the store via polls. What leads me to my assumption about these polls is the fact my family owns ten acres of land up north. To get power to a house we were debating on building there a while back would have required utility polls to be erected on our property much like that seen in the shot of the garden center, only not as complex.

Edited by tamias6

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This webpage on Rockford Construction's website will point you to a webcam of a Meijer store under construction in Lennox, MI

Click the link below then select the Meijer link on the webpage.

Enjoy

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Since I was in the area, I decided to squeeze in some shots of the Cascade Meijer on 28th St. just east of I-96.

First this store from my point of view.

(Edited to correct dates...Thanks for the correction, Delvrin)

This store, dating back to the 80's is unlike many of the chain's other locations. The recipient of frequent renovations and upgrades which resulted in what is seen in the following pictures, this store is regarded as a flagship store. Thus it is often the go-to store for Meijer Inc. to test out new ideas, features, and even store formats. For example, the current facade, with its Main Street, USA look, is part of an experimental store format aptly called "Village Square" by corporate heads.

The Village format made its debut here at this store in 2000. However it was short lived and replaced by the "Signature" format to which the River Town crossings Meijer is a prime example of. However in 2003 the interior of the Cascade Meijer explored uncharted waters by prototyping the interior design, graphics program, and layout of what would become the company's latest boldest store format yet. Created by the prestigious New York based design and marketing firm, Rockwell Group Ltd., this new layout was aimed to bring Meijer's General Merchandise offering on par with its stellar reputation for grocery offerings and recast the company image in a more hip, upscale, and fashion forward light. Obviously this new format has been very successful for Meijer as the company is now proving itself a formidable competitor in the cut throat world of the retail industry. So much so that all new stores are being built under the new format while plans are being implemented to retrofit older stores or replace them with new facilities.

This store has also prototyped the ill-fated double checkout lanes arrangement, the pharmacy drive-up window, various iterations of the in-store cafe. It was one of the first Meijer stores to replace baggers with the current carousel bagging system. In addition, if memory serves me correctly, this store was one of the first to debut the U-scan express self checkout lanes.

Currently there is talk of Meijer intending to prototype here at this store a new idea pertaining to a drive-up cafe, or at least reserving parking spaces for the cafe's pick-up and go feature.

Why Meijer chooses this location to test drive so many of it new ideas is unclear. However, with every walk of life from the working class all the way up to the most affluent, the demographics of the surrounding communities this store serves runs the full gambit. Therefore it is safe to assume that this store's customer base represents an excellent cross-section of shoppers Meijer wishes to appeal to.

Now for the pictures:

The store front and it unique facade from the discontinued "Village Square" format. Though a bit on the cartoony side, this facade does a great job of visually breaking down the hulking and sprawling mass of this 200,000+ sq. foot super center.

storefrontgc9.jpg

The store's front drive. Ignoring the vast parking lot to the left, the front drive does look like a small town's main street complete with old fashion street lamps. A great idea would have been to make the fake building facades really functional by making this store's front alcove tenants accessible from the outside. This would have also given this Meijer store a few functions of the new and hip Lifestyle Centers popping up all over the country.

frontdriveeo4.jpg

The front facade up close and personal. The "shop windows" of the fake building facades showcase poster sized images of Meijer's company history.

facadeclosupof3.jpg

This is a detail shot of the "Barn" section of the store. Notice the arched doorways which represent portals in which horses and carriages would enter and leave. Instead of horses, hey bails, and wagons, the barn accommodates this store's deli and bakery as well as the produce dept.

barnsectionej8.jpg

Edited by tamias6

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Your dates are a little off on the Cascade store. It was built in the mid 80's (store #50). It's original facade was similar to the Clyde Park store, with the curved glass atrium entries and dark brown brick. The renovation and expansion to the village format was done in 2000-2001. This was a major renovation on the same scale that the Alpine store is receiving now. A smaller renovation was done in 2003 to apply the prototype Rockwell format to the store and build the addition to the seasonal area sticking out into the garden center.

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I've edited my post to correct the dates. Thanks for corrections.

Your dates are a little off on the Cascade store. It was built in the mid 80's (store #50). It's original facade was similar to the Clyde Park store, with the curved glass atrium entries and dark brown brick. The renovation and expansion to the village format was done in 2000-2001. This was a major renovation on the same scale that the Alpine store is receiving now. A smaller renovation was done in 2003 to apply the prototype Rockwell format to the store and build the addition to the seasonal area sticking out into the garden center.

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This is a shot of the Standale Meijer taken Sept. of 2006. This store is located on a former drive-in theater at the south west corner of Lake Michigan Drive and Wilson Ave. and caps off the west end of Walker's Standale Shopping District.

standalemeijerqq9.jpg

Constructed in 2004 through 2005, the Standale Meijer is among the first Meijer stores to be built under company's latest store format. This format debuted at the Cascade Meijer just two years earlier. The format was design by the prestigious design and marketing firm the Rockwell Group Ltd. of New York City. Featuring wider aisles, a bold graphics program that promotes ease of navigation, and a colorful, welcoming interior design package, this format is designed to provide customers a pleasant yet fashion forward and efficient shopping experience. With products and dept. arranged in what are known as adjacencies, the store layout is designed for customers on the go. For example baby foods and supplies are bundled together in their own department just across the concourse from groceries. Kitchenware is also next to the grocery section. Hardware, Electrical, Paints, Automotive, and Sports, are next to each other creating a man's paradise along the sales floors back wall. Music, Computer accessories, Photo processing and consumer electronics, scattered about in older Meijer stores, are consolidated into a multi-media and entertainment department known as "E4" Designed by very heavy guns of the design and marketing world and implemented by Meijer's top brass and local builders this format's purpose is to make shopping at a super center a breeze.

Just as this format makes a customer's shopping experience quick and easy, this format also shines on the back end. The Standale Meijer and those like it are the results of a company wide rethink that took place between 2000 and 2003. This transformation has relieved the company of excess baggage at both a corporate level and in how new stores are built and operated. Featuring small yet highly efficient back rooms, the Standale Meijer and its siblings are designed to essentially get product from the loading docks straight to the sales floor. Not having products sitting in the back rooms for long periods of time saves retailers allot of money. Also the buildings electrical system is designed to save on electricity by slightly dimming the store's interior lighting at night. Sounds strange but at night, the eye perceives illuminated interior spaces as brighter than during the day. Lastly and importantly the way this store is constructed is designed to maximize the dollar.

Unlike many previous Meijer stores, the Standale store is constructed of prefabricated walls manufactured off site in factory like conditions. Once the building's footings are poured and steel skeleton is erected, the prefabricated panels are then craned into place to form the building's parameter walls. After that, roof sheeting is installed and the concrete floor is poured. Form this point more conventional construction methods take over to see the store's construction to completion. Construction of a new store from ground breaking to ribbon cutting takes about a year and costs between 16 to 25 million dollars. The Standale Meijer's price tag was about 19 million dollars if memory serves me correctly. By relying heavily on prefabrication, Meijer is able to cut labor costs and have a new store open and turning profits sooner than what more traditional building methods could provide.

Designed and constructed to operate as cost effectively and efficiently as possible while providing customers with an easy and quick shopping experience, the Standale store is one of a growing number of Meijer stores that are a direct response to the company's need to successfully compete on a variety of fronts. Some of these fronts consist of grocers like Spartan Foods, and Kroger, department stores such as Macy's and Sears, home centers like Home Depot and Lowe's, and consumer electronic stores like Best Buy and Circuit City. Most of all the Standale store and its kin are replies to Meijer's two chief competitors Target and Wal-Mart's as these two retail juggernauts have been at for many years to propagate in company's Midwest territories.

However, the Standale store and those like it have put Meijer in perhaps the best shape its been in a long time. So competitors will have to earn their keep if they wish to set up shop and do business within a Meijer store's marketing reach.

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... Featuring small yet highly efficient back rooms, the Standale Meijer and its siblings are designed to essentially get product from the loading docks straight to the sales floor. Not having products sitting in the back rooms for long periods of time saves retailers allot of money. Also the buildings electrical system is designed to save on electricity by slightly dimming the store's interior lighting at night. Sounds strange but at night, the eye perceives illuminated interior spaces as brighter than during the day. ...

Unlike many previous Meijer stores, the Standale store is constructed of prefabricated walls manufactured off site in factory like conditions. Once the building's footings are poured and steel skeleton is erected, the prefabricated panels are then craned into place to form the building's parameter walls. ...

Tam, how you know all this??

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There was an article in the Walker Advance that covered the Standale Meijer's grand opening. It explained some of the features of this store. The Grand Rapids Press also had a fairly comprehensive article that covered the grand opening of the Gains(Sp?) Twp. Meijer which is a nearly exact copy of the Standale store. Also from time to time I will take a look at the Press Releases on Meijer's website as well as any Meijer related article I come across on the Internet. It also helps to be living less than a 1/2 mile away from the Standale Meijer. That and being right on my commute route I had front row seats when it came to watching its construction unfold. I just wish I had a digital camera and a membership to UP at the time.

Tam, how you know all this??

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Rant:

Fred's gas stations are selling a Flavor of the Month: "Motor City Tornado."

Yet there are no retail locations within the city limits of Detroit. (Lincoln Park might be closer than Tel-Twelve.)

If I were Kwame, I'd be having a talk with Mark, and not just about coffee.

/rant

[precipitated by a good discussion about Detroit grocery stores & retail yesterday]

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Was that taken at a local meijer store? If so, where? Or did you just find it online somewhere?

I had to post this.

Nothing like a game of basketball in a six foot aisle!

n2209487_36364622_2859.jpg

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If its local I'm guessing the 28th St./ K'zoo store or the old Plainfeild Ave. store. as these stores are the only two in the area that have such low ceilings in their retail sections.

Was that taken at a local meijer store? If so, where? Or did you just find it online somewhere?

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That image is of my friend. It's at the Ann Arbor - Saline Meijer off 94

Why do you ask. Are we about to get busted?

Edited by wolverine

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That image is of my friend. It's at the Ann Arbor - Saline Meijer off 94

Why do you ask. Are we about to get busted?

I think he was just being curious.

While we're on the subject of a little Meijer fun, a couple of my friends and I went to the Rivertown Meijer around 1am in the morning about 5 weeks ago. We played with the bikes and fishies and one of the employers (an elderly gentleman) even got in with the fun by letting us test out the bikes down the aisles.

Meijer can be such a stress reliever when you're down. I think the guy was happy when we left with five goldfish and one of those little bikes.

Edited by Timize

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