In the midst of the Depression, 50-year-old barber Hendrik Meijer buys $328.76 of merchandise on credit and opens a small grocery store next to his barber shop in Greenville, Michigan. Future Meijer Chairman Fred Meijer, age 14, begins work stocking shelves.
Meijer’s Grocery is renamed the “Thrift Market.” Hendrik places newspaper advertisement; among the items, a large box of Corn Flakes for 11¢
Store doubles in size. Now the “Thrift Market,” it becomes an early supermarket, with cash sales and self-service shelves.
The Depression still lingers, yet Meijer is able to acquire its first shopping carts—the latest in grocery store innovation.
Meijer acquires its first grocery delivery truck—a welcome replacement for the unstable trailer (with no brakes) previously used to haul merchandise.
With the country at war, Meijer advertises “Aeroplane Quality” and “Submarine Prices.” Hendrik announces, “We pledge our support to any steps the government finds necessary to win this war.” By 1945, half of all Meijer Team Members are women.
Meijer buys its first office building, a vacant potato warehouse. Fred Meijer marries Lena Rader, a Meijer cashier.
The first Grand Rapids Meijer stores open on South Division and Eastern avenues. In a contest, a customer suggests the name “Thrifty” for Meijer’s little Dutch boy, who becomes the corporate symbol for the next 30 years.
Meijer speeds products down the checkout lane with the innovative automated conveyor belt for faster and better service.
Responding to the country’s exploding baby boom, Meijer begins advertising on TV’s “Romper Room.”
Meijer becomes the first supermarket to offer a full book of stamps in a single ad. The Dole Pineapple Company offers a Hawaiian vacation to the person named “Meijer Checker of the Year.”
Redeemable trading stamps at Meijer become part of the past as savings are passed on to guests. During the ‘60s, the number of Meijer stores reaches 26 with over 4,000 Team Members.
Meijer opens its first “Thrifty Acres,” a food and general merchandise combination store, on 28th Street in Grand Rapids. Big stores in Holland and Muskegon, Michigan follow.
The Greenville Meijer Store burns for the second time. A newspaper coupon makes up for the extra driving distance, encouraging Guests to shop at nearby Meijer stores.
Founder Hendrik Meijer, age 80, dies peacefully after spending the day visiting with his grandchildren, even trimming his grandson’s hair.
Meijer stores open on Sundays for the first time. Gezina Meijer is listed among the Who’s Who of American Women as she heads the company in her new role as president.
Meijer opens an eight-acre distribution center and builds its first stand-alone office, the Hendrik Meijer Building, in Walker, Michigan.
As the nation celebrates its 200th birthday, Fred Meijer looks to the future: “We think company tradition is good as long as one of the traditions is being an innovator.”
Checkout scanners are introduced in the 28th St. Grand Rapids store, saving both time and money.
Co-founder Gezina Meijer dies at the age of 91. She watched Meijer grow from an expanded barber shop to a large retailing venture, employing nearly 10,000 Team Members.
Meijer Flower Shops open and Bulk Food departments let guests buy a lot to save a lot. Cabbage Patch dolls arrive at Meijer stores under heavy security.
Meijer celebrates 50 years and buries a time capsule scheduled for opening in 2034, our 100th anniversary.
Meijer’s 60th year! We open our first Indiana stores, giving us a total of 76 stores with more than 56,000 team members.
The Frederik Meijer Botanical Gardens opens to the public in April, fulfilling a dream of Fred Meijer’s.
Meijer opens four new stores in Indiana and Michigan. Of those, Knapp’s Corner in Grand Rapids launches the Store of the Future! Tickle Me Elmo makes the biggest Christmas sensation since Cabbage Patch Dolls.
Meijer enters Chicago with the opening of the Bolingbrook store. The 24-foot Leonardo da Vinci Horse is unveiled at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Meijer opens a record 16 stores. Refining our Merchandising and Operations strategy will lead us into the future.
Meijer moves into the Chicago market. Greenville, Michigan gets a new Meijer with the “1.9 Design.”
Co-Chairman, Hank Meijer is named Chief Executive Officer. The company has 156 stores located throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois, and employs around 80,000 people.
Meijer celebrates its 70 years! Meijer embraces a company wide “transformation,” to position it for future growth. With stores in Kentucky and Illinois, team members serve customers in five states.
Meijer begins adding E85 Ethanol, a fuel blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, to its fuel offerings at select gas stations. E85 is a mostly renewable fuel that can be made from U.S.-grown corn. Use of E85 reduces greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on petroleum. Currently, more than 5 million E85 capable vehicles are on America's roads.
Meijer unveils its free prescription drug program designed to benefit at least one-half million Meijer customers at all 176 Meijer pharmacies throughout the Midwest. The program focuses on the leading antibiotics most frequently prescribed for children and is available to all Meijer customers regardless of their insurance or required co-pays. Mark Murray, Meijer President, shown here introducing the program.
Meijer continues its commitment to healthy living by launching its own private-label brand of more than 200 different organic food items. All Meijer organic products are certified “U.S.D.A. Organic” and are derived using no growth hormones, antibiotics, conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients, bioengineering or ionizing radiation.