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The last time I was at the Cascade Meijer which was month ago, it's parking lot looked like it was in rough shape. One could see allot of patches and the crack filler stuff used on the highways. (RaildudesDad might know the proper term for that) The Construction prep could be signs of crews about to redo the parking lot. Next time I'm down there, I'll keep my eyes out and camera at the ready.

I was at the Cascade Meijer late yesterday afternoon, and there are quite a few things going on indoors. The grocery aisles where chips, crackers and soda would be found have been moved way to the back of the store past the bulk food items, and that section is covered in plastic. They were also doing something with the section of baby items, which had also been relocated to a different area in the store.

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One would figure that punching a hole in the wall, adding a drive up window, and remarking the parking lot would not be that much trouble. But Geez that's about the same amount of equipment that was brought to the Alpine Meijer at the height of its renovation. So somethings bigger than just a door or a drive up window must be up. Or at least this drive up/short term parking/chicken thing must going to be something really special.

I called it that because they sent me a survey about it a few weeks back.

Do you want a drive-up with carry-out food like at Johnny O'chili bees?

How about dash-in parking?

A drive-thru for deli foods?

(paraphrased)

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Here's the text from the corporate ad which appeared in the special Michigan travel section of the Sunday Freep.

meijer [logo]

Committed to Michigan

Mejier has invested over $463 Million in Michigan!

  • 3900 New Meijer Jobs
  • 10,500 Mejier Jobs Retained
  • 3775 Construction Jobs

West Michigan

$118M in investment

1200 New Meijer Jobs

2700 Mejier Jobs Retained

1050 Construction Jobs

Mid Michigan

$98M in investment

900 New Meijer Jobs

1800 Mejier Jobs Retained

750 Construction Jobs

East Michigan

$246M in investment

1800 New Meijer Jobs

6000 Mejier Jobs Retained

1900 Construction Jobs

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What dumbfounds me is that Meijer renovated that store only three years ago. Yet, now Meijer is doing more changes. I just love how this company constantly tinkers around with its stores to stay ahead of the competition. I can't wait to see what Fred has up his sleeve this time.

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Went and took a quick look at the meijer store out by the south beltline tonight on Kalamazoo. That store is a twin of the meijer store on Wilson, but groceries are on the right side and retail on the left side. It only has 15 Aisles and 30 checkout lanes. The checkout lanes have the in store shopping networks on them. Also, that store does not have a gas station on it's property. I believe it opened in 2005 as well.

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Quest of the Six Meijers

Intro

Today I made a trip to Jackson to attend a family members birthday party. But as fates would have it 6 meijer stores happen to be located on my route.

So with opportunities there I decided to takes some pictures to add to my Meijer photo album.

Post 1

The Cascade Meijer

This morning the trip began. As I headed out of Grand Rapids, I made a pit stop at the Cascade Meijer to grab a couple of bottles of Pepsi needed to sustain the caffeine rush that makes a 2 hour drive to Jackson go in a flash. While there, the opportunity to have a close look at this store's unexpected renovation presented itself. So here's some pix of the staging area enclosed by a temporary fence.

The staging area looking north.

stagingareanorthtu2.jpg

The Staging Area looking NW. There are a ton of trailers and shipping containers loaded with supplies.

stagingareanwut2.jpg

As seen here, there seems to be no exterior work going on at the building.

Inside the Cascade Store....

After heading inside, I noticed that the cafe area was closed off by plastic and plywood. A peek inside revealed allot of construction. However the cafe itself, enclosed by decorative brick walls was intact right down to its chairs and tables and looked quite nice. I suspect the surrounding areas will be new homes for the deli and delicious to go. Currently these two services are located in an island between the produce dept and the grocery section proper. As I made my way down the grocery concourse it was abruptly cut off at the frozen food coolers by a wall of plastic vialing a missing row of coolers, a vacated aisle 6, and trenches gouged into the concrete floor. This plastic enclosed area extended into an empty area that I believe was Baby food/supplies dept.

I went down one of the two remaining frozen food aisles to get around the blockage. As I finally made my way around the blocked off area, I noticed the entire wall around the milk coolers to be missing exposing the cooler's intricate pipe work. Moving closer I also noticed that aisle six complete with its contents and aisle number signs was located behind the cooler. Also the exiled baby food/supplies was found there as well. What on Earth was going on?! The answer revealed itself as I noticed the entire back wall of the sales floor from the grocery section all the way to E4 was pushed back by over 30 feet. The grocery section's stretch of back wall was pushed further back by an additional 10 feet.

The former location of the back wall was indicated by unpainted steel roof trusses and columns. Also the additional space gained revealed the last vestiges of the store's original flooring which looked quite ugly. Also one could see that the original rear concourse running along where the back wall use to be.

Lastly, in the retail section where pet supplies ought to be was enclosed by plastic. The floor inside was ripped up.

Why Meijer is renovating the Cascade store when it prototyped the latest format only three years ago is unclear. Also Meijer's intents other than a drive up feature/short term parking for take outs is a mystery. But two things are for certain. Expect to see more aisles in the grocery section along with an expanded retail section.

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Went and took a quick look at the meijer store out by the south beltline tonight on Kalamazoo. That store is a twin of the meijer store on Wilson, but groceries are on the right side and retail on the left side. It only has 15 Aisles and 30 checkout lanes. The checkout lanes have the in store shopping networks on them. Also, that store does not have a gas station on it's property. I believe it opened in 2005 as well.

I was at that store today. I noticed that it was bigger than both the Standale and Grandville stores. Does anyone know how this store size compares to the Alpine store? Finally, this store looks so much like the Alpine store that I almost forget that I was on the other side of town.

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The South Beltline/K'zoo Meijer is an exact copy of the Standale store. The only difference between both stores is the South Beltline/ K'zoo store has right hand groceries vs. the Standale Store's left hand groceries. Both store's are approximately 207,000 sq. feet in size.

As for the Alpine Store, its sales floor is smaller than those of both the Standale Store and the South Beltline/ K'zoo store, due to large old school back rooms and its mezzanine taking up allot of the square footage. But don't let the Alpine store's small sales floor fool you. That store's renovation bumped it size up from 215,000 sq. ft. to 229,000 sq. ft. allowing the Alpine store to beat out the vast Knapp corner store as the largest Meijer store in the area.

I have not been able to calculate the size of the Granville store yet though due to Google Earth not featuring a clear shot of that location for me to carefully trace out the building's foot print. But chances are it maybe even larger than the Alpine Store's new size. If I were able to calculate the store's size, there is a slight to moderate probability of the Grandville store exceeding 250,000 sq. ft. making it tie or even exceeding a 250,000 sq. ft. store in Lansing as the largest Meijer store ever built. Hopefully the next version of Google Earth will feature clearer shots of that area so I can calculate the Grandville Store's size.

Edited by tamias6

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Quest of the six Meijers

Post 2

Proof of no two Meijer store looking exactly alike.

The Cascade Meijer being the Flagship store is always being tinkered with in some way shape or form. It always has been since it was constructed in the 80's. That alone should be proof positive that Meijer has a knack of constantly tinkering with anything from product selection to entire store layouts. But if that is not enough evidence then here's some shots of various Meijer stores on my way to Jackson and back.

We begin with Meijer store number 2 of 6 just off of [Edit] US-23[/EDIT] somewhere half way between Lansing and Jackson. Though its just the back of the store, it shows that Meijer was going for some kind of Menard's look at the time. In fact a close look would reveal that Meijer was using the same exact Prefab wall panels used in the construction of a Menard's store.

storebetweenlansingjacknx0.jpg

Heading south one encounters this rather unusual looking Meijer, number 3 of 6, located just a few miles north of Jackson. This store looks to be built around the same time as the Cascade and Clyde Park stores as indicated by the solarium style store entrances. However sometime ago a renovation must have taken place that added the arch windows which I assume houses a Knapp Corner style cafe, the arch shaped sign board, and the box shaped appendage at the far end. A second more recent renovation as indicated by the new joy dots logo upgraded this store to the current store format debuted at the Cascade Meijer.

storenrthofjacksonke1.jpg

After the birthday party, came the return trip home. However instead of taking the highways, The family and I took the back roads home. This led us to Charlotte and store number 4 of 6 located about twelve miles SW of Lansing. This store is what the front of the store pictured in the first photograph may have looked like. As seen here, this Meijer features a heavily watered down version of the ill-fated "Village Square format". The Village Square format replicating the look of Main Street, USA complete with individual false store fronts must have been incredibly expansive to build due to the shear complexity of the architecture. So at some time just before Meijer axed the format they must have made a disparate attempt to make the format more cost effective. However has seen here the results are not too pleasing. My initial impression is that this store looks like an old Menard's hastily converted into a Meijer store.

chorlottestorepl2.jpg

To be continued in Post 3...

Into the Belly of the Beast

Edited by tamias6

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Here is a picture of the Jenison Meijer c. 1972 from 'Bend in the River', a local history book of Jenison-Grandville. I apologize for the poor quality. I believe this store was constructed around 1969 so this is probably pretty close to what the building originally looked like when it opened.

Unfortunately I don't have a present day picture in which to contrast it with.

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Quest of the Six Meijers

Post 3

Into the Belly of the beast. (The 28th st./ K'zoo Meijer)

After taking the back roads back to GR, I needed a restroom break. the only ones available right of hand were inside store 5 of 6 the 28th street/ K'zoo store. It's been years since the last time I was inside that store. During that last visit I felt like I was in a scene in the post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi movie "Blade Runner" for all the security cameras and tv monitors everywhere. So readying my level six security clearance card and preparing for an Iris scan I entered into the belly of the beast.

One inside I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the security cameras, one for practically every aisle were replaced with smaller more discrete units. The tv monitors except for those at the entrances were taken down. So security didn't feel so in-your-face. Though having to deal with a continuing problem of shoplifters at this particular store, I bet security is still every bit as tight. The place look liked it got a good bath as well, Many of the walls looked like they had received a fresh coat of paint. The dingy carpets defining the shoes and clothing departments were removed and replaced with floor tiles. This helped make the space feel a little less cramped. Cleanliness was noticeably improved as the musty smell this store always had was absent. Floors were shiny and spotless. Last but not least, one will find some of the graphics program from the latest store format here as well, namely the blue triangular grocery aisle numbers and over head department signs. In a nut shell this store has seen some improvements.

However these improvements are only stop gap measures at best. The store layout is very hodgepodge making product searching a tedious effort. Even finding the restrooms proved to be a chore as I had to search the entire store to find them. Also in a vain attempt to stay on par with other Meijer stores, the 28th st. /K'zoo store is trying to shoe horn into its oddly shaped 150,000 sq. ft. layout a product line up meant to be displayed in a spacious state-of-the-art 207,000 sq. ft. or greater retail space. Needless to say that one feels very hemmed in when shopping in this store.

One may say "Meijer could renovate this store to the latest format just as they have done to the Alpine Meijer." However this store which premiered what is known today as the Supercenter format in the US. is so old and outdated that renovation would prove too costly. Doing a store replacement in which a new store is constructed elsewhere on the property and then demolishing the old store would be impossible due to the property's small size. However. Meijer could simply demolish the old store and the built a new one in its place. That is the most viable option. But that would require that location to be closed for at least 18 mouths, 6 months for demolition, and 12 months to construct a new store. Due to the property's small size and odd shape one would only gain four thousand square feet of retail space. Is that worth a year and a half's worth of lost revenue?

But all hope is not lost. Indian Trails golf course as apparently been put up for sale and targeted to commercial and retail developers. If Meijer seizes the opportunity a brand new 28th st./ K'zoo Meijer could happen with in the next few years.

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Very cool. I actually like the original architecture shown in the picture than what's there today. I also love all those windows on the mezzanine. One odd thing. It appears that Meijer didn't always have garden centers as this store seems to have lacked one at the time.

Here is a picture of the Jenison Meijer c. 1972 from 'Bend in the River', a local history book of Jenison-Grandville. I apologize for the poor quality. I believe this store was constructed around 1969 so this is probably pretty close to what the building originally looked like when it opened.

Unfortunately I don't have a present day picture in which to contrast it with.

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storebetweenlansingjacknx0.jpg

storenrthofjacksonke1.jpg

chorlottestorepl2.jpg

To be continued in Post 3...

Into the Belly of the Beast

Not sure how safe it is to be practicing photography while driving? :dontknow:

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Fortunately for everybody on the road at the time I was a passenger.

Not sure how safe it is to be practicing photography while driving? :dontknow:

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Anyone heard about the Meijer Summer Movie Nights? Rockford's Meijer is showing Happy Feet in the parking lot...can't remember the date, just saw a flyer for it this weekend.

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We begin with Meijer store number 2 of 6 just off of [Edit] US-23[/EDIT] somewhere half way between Lansing and Jackson. Though its just the back of the store, it shows that Meijer was going for some kind of Menard's look at the time. In fact a close look would reveal that Meijer was using the same exact Prefab wall panels used in the construction of a Menard's store.

storebetweenlansingjacknx0.jpg

I believe you meant to say US-127 between Lansing and Jackson. US-23 is further east, between Flint, Brighton, Ann Arbor, Dundee, and Toledo.

The Meijer in this photo is most likely the Mason Meijer, which is located here. Having previously lived on the south side of Lansing for a couple of years, I have shopped here a few times. I think it was probably built in the late 1990s.

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Anyone heard about the Meijer Summer Movie Nights? Rockford's Meijer is showing Happy Feet in the parking lot...can't remember the date, just saw a flyer for it this weekend.

Yes - June 29th. Activities start at 6:30, and the Movie "Happy Feet" starts at 8:45. I believe it's free. Bring something soft to sit; I hear asphalt is hard on the rear end. :thumbsup:

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Quest of the Six Meijers.

Last post:

Days end at the Alpine Meijer.

542892493_3babb6218a_b.jpg

After my escapade into the 28th st/ K'zoo store. I can certainly apreciate the renovation of the six and final store of my trip, the Alpine Meijer. One can find complete information and a detailed log of its renovation in the Alpine Meijer thread.

The Alpine Meijer began life some time back in the sixties as a Meijer supermarket. However a few years after the 28th st./ K'zoo store caught on the Alpine Meijer along with its sibing, the Plainfeild Meijer, were upgraded to the Thrifty Acers format. Since then this store was renovated and added onto several time until the most recent renovation, which is nearly complete, has resulted in the store we see today.

Like the 28th st/ K'zoo store and the old Plainfeild store, the Alpine Meijer was hoplessly outdated, cramped, and nolonger suited to compete in today's terbulant and often cut-throat world of retail. There was even talk of forsaking this location in favor of building anew further north on Alpine Ave or perhaps across Walker Ave. from the Meijer corporate HQ since much of the land there is owned by the company. After four years of indecisiveness, Wal-Mart's move to replace its Alpine Location with a 209,000 sq. ft. Supercenter cemented Meijer's dicsion to embark on a 16 million dollar renovation of Alpine Meijer.

Unlike the renovations of the Clyde Park Meijer or the Jenison Meijer, this renovation was not restricted to a mere cosmetic one. Meijer has responded to the coming of Kent Co.'s first Wal-MArt Supercenter by pulling out all the stops to transform this old store into essentially a brand new state-of-th-art retail space from top to bottom. Increased in size from 215,000 sq. ft. to 229,000 sq. ft. the Alpine Meijer has been made into one of the largest Meijer stores in the GR area. this store's grocery section is unsurpassed. This store also features a drive up phamarcy, expanded retail space, 31 checkout lanes, and a whole slew of other features.

With these improvment, the reinvigorate Alpine Meijer will soon be ready to go fist to cuffs with Wally-World. Going by how the recently rebult Ionia Meijer store has faired against the Wally-World just to its south. The Alpine Meijer will most certainly give Kent Co.'s first Wal-Mart supercenter a run for its money.

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Now this Meijer thread is stuffed full of pictures of various Meijer stores of all shapes and sizes. However no gallery of Meijer pictures would be complete without a photo of the Corporate HQ.

So here's the Fred Meijer Building, the home of Meijer Inc.

fredmeijerbldgwc2.jpg

Located in Walker Michigan on the corner of 3 Mile Rd. and Walker Ave. The Fred Meijer Building contains the brains of Meijer's operations. Unlike the cheerful and colorful chain of stores the company operates, the simplistic yet austere nature of this building's architecture is meant to send a clearcut message to those who visit here and work here that Meijer means business. This provides Meijer execs an edge when negotiating deals with vendors and any party that Meijer does business with. Like the bridge of a ship, this building has seen countless decisions made by Hindrik, Fred, Doug, and Henk Meijer that has dramatically shaped and reshaped the company's future since the day it was built.

Accompanying the Fred Meijer Building is the 1 million square foot distribution center located on the south side of 3 Mile. This facility serves the entire Grand Rapids store district . Also there is the Hindrik Meijer building that was the predecessor of the Fred Meijer building. However the Hindrik Meijer building still serves an extremely important roll of housing Meijer Inc's communication and data nerve center.

As for how the Fred Meijer Building means to UP members. Many here wish Meijer would spend the money and build a grandiose corporate tower that would dominate the DT skyline. Personally I don't think that will ever happen at least within our lifetimes. For starters, Meijer projects an image of being thrifty and modest and vigorously backs up that image with an equally thrifty and modest corporate culture. A grandiose 50 story office tower dominating the Grand Rapids skyline is just not in Meijer's nature. Two, between 2000 and 2003 Meijer underwent a cost cutting top to bottom corporate restructuring to rid the company of inefficiencies and redundancies to enable it to be more competitive with the likes of Wal-Mart and Target. Much of that restructuring pink slipped many high level white collar jobs from Management on up. As a result the Fred Meijer building is not quite as full as it used to be. Three, should Meijer feel the need to expand its headquarters, it has plenty of land behind the building to grow into along with a land assemblage across Walker Ave. by the Meijer Gas Station. In total that is enough land to accommodate a corporate campus meant for an entity the size of Microsoft. In short Meijer is here in Walker to stay.

Edited by tamias6

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One would figure that punching a hole in the wall, adding a drive up window, and remarking the parking lot would not be that much trouble. But Geez that's about the same amount of equipment that was brought to the Alpine Meijer at the height of its renovation. So somethings bigger than just a door or a drive up window must be up. Or at least this drive up/short term parking/chicken thing must going to be something really special.

Went there for lunch. Using the pharmacy (east, further from the freeway) entrance, you can find a pedestal sign with renderings and a floor plan.

About 6 locations are being pimped up. They've moved bottle return to the far back, straight ahead from the grocery entrance...or it will be once they get done re-arranging all the shelving. New food demo station coming in Grocery. New fish tank shelving sits ready to install. New flooring in different places. They are tweaking E4 as well (I was in a hurry).

And the Grand Hotel junqu--I mean, product--is all orange clearance stickered. Still ain't moving.

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Sounds like I've got some Cascade Meijer scouting to do. :ph34r:

Went there for lunch. Using the pharmacy (east, further from the freeway) entrance, you can find a pedestal sign with renderings and a floor plan.

About 6 locations are being pimped up. They've moved bottle return to the far back, straight ahead from the grocery entrance...or it will be once they get done re-arranging all the shelving. New food demo station coming in Grocery. New fish tank shelving sits ready to install. New flooring in different places. They are tweaking E4 as well (I was in a hurry).

And the Grand Hotel junqu--I mean, product--is all orange clearance stickered. Still ain't moving.

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The Grand Hotel product is selling well at the Meijer store up here in Bay City. No orange clearance signs here.

The shirts are on clearance at the Kzoo & M6 Meijer.

However, tamias, you or someone else may know the answer to this. But when you buy a "Meijer" brand product it also states its distributed in Grand Rapids, are these all made in GR as well? Like the yogurts, salsas, cereals etc or are they shipped in from other producers and then distributed?

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The shirts are on clearance at the Kzoo & M6 Meijer.

However, tamias, you or someone else may know the answer to this. But when you buy a "Meijer" brand product it also states its distributed in Grand Rapids, are these all made in GR as well? Like the yogurts, salsas, cereals etc or are they shipped in from other producers and then distributed?

Like any store brand merchandise they are made by an anonymous manufacturer and packaged with the store's brand. In Meijer's case, they sometimes use the alias "Wholesale Merchandise" for items that don't use the Meijer name and logo, like tools.

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Added to that Meijer is a part of a consortium with many other grocers and retailers to muster up enough buying power to purchase goods from vendors, at lower costs so their prices charged to consumers can be more competitive with those of giants like Wal-Mart, Target, and Kroger.

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