Meijers Stores by Janice Cooper
Meijers Stores America's First Hypermarket - RateIt
Meijer is a regional hypermarket chain headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was founded in 1934 as a supermarket chain and is credited for pioneering the modern supercenter. Hendrik Meijer, a dutch immigrant founded the first Meijer’s in Greenville, Michigan. His employees included his son and a fourteen year old grocery bagger who later became chairman of the company. This family founded store was among the first to offer shopping carts and self-service stands. The Greenville store success led to other openings in Ionia and Cedar Springs.
To date, about half of the company’s 196 locations are based within Michigan. The first Meijer Thrifty Acres store opened in 1962 at a size of 180,000 square feet. This store combined its grocery and department store shopping in one space. The stores following this were built in the same manner until the 1970s. Some of the stores featured a balcony, barber shops and nail salons. Most stores also have cafes, Starbuck’s shops and fast food restaurants.Most stores are constructed from the ground up with a small number of exceptions throughout the nation. Most stores are open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year, closing early only on Christmas Eve. Meijer is america’s first hypermarket.