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Meijer celebrates 85 years

It's been 85 years since Hendrik Meijer opened his first grocery store in Greenville.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A popular West Michigan-based superstore chain is celebrating 85 years in business. 

It's been 85 years since founder Hendrik Meijer opened his first grocery store in Greenville, Mich. with just $338.76 worth of merchandise on credit. Meijer was opened in the midst of the Great Depression, in 1934,  that risk has now resulted in more than 245 stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. 

“When my grandfather and dad opened their grocery store 85 years ago, they set themselves apart right from the start with a focus on their customers and an eye for innovation,” Executive Chairman Hank Meijer said. “That focus gave the little grocery store a future. We are thankful for our customers who helped us along the way because without them, we would not be here.” 

The retailer is offering an .85-cent price point promotion. Thousands of select items will be on sale for various prices, ending in .85, ranging from .85 cents up to $39.85, on Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28.

The 85-year celebration promotion will apply to each of the retailer’s stores and will include more than 4,000 items, including food items, car oil, greeting cards and even Xbox One consoles.

Meijer historical innovations include:

  • 1938: Meijer acquires its first shopping carts, the latest in grocery store innovation.
  • 1941: The second Meijer store opens in Cedar Springs, Mich., soon under the management of Johanna Meijer. By 1945, half of all Meijer team members are women.
  • 1954: Meijer speeds product down the checkout lane with automated conveyer belts.
  • 1962: The birth of the supercenter when Meijer opens the first “Thrifty Acres,” a food and general merchandise store that allowed customers to shop for everything they needed in just one trip.
  • 1976: All Meijer stores are now open on Sunday.
  • 1988: Many Meijer stores are now open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year.
  • 2006: Meijer unveils its free prescription drug program at all 176 Meijer pharmacies.
  • 2008: Meijer introduces its Simply Give program to restock the shelves of food pantries in the communities it serves.
  • 2010: Meijer launches mPerks, a free digital coupon program.
  • 2013: Meijer opens its 200th store in Swartz Creek, Mich., and its first supercenter in the city of Detroit at Woodward Ave. and Eight Mile.
  • 2015: Meijer enters its sixth state with the opening of four stores in Wisconsin.
  • 2019: Meijer enters the Cleveland market by opening three stores in the same day; total of 246 stores across the Midwest.

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