Meijer History

In the midst of the Great Depression, a modest local barber in Greenville, Mich. had a need and saw an opportunity. In an effort to take care of the customers who visited his barbershop, Hendrik Meijer purchased $338.76 worth of merchandise on credit. Together, with his 14-year-old son, Fred, they opened Meijer’s Grocery.


The Depression still lingers, yet Meijer is able to acquire its first shopping carts – the latest in grocery store innovation. 


The second Meijer store opens in Cedar Springs, Mich. under the management of Johanna Meijer. By 1945, half of all Meijer team members are women.


Meijer speeds product down the checkout lane with innovative automated conveyer belts – another way Meijer provides faster and better service for customers.


Meijer opens its first “Thrifty Acres,” a food and general merchandise store that allowed customers to shop for everything they needed in just one trip. It was the birth of the supercenter and the springboard for a concept that would grow into a retail phenomenon.


Grand Rapids area Meijer stores are now open on Sunday, followed by all stores throughout the retail chain in 1976.


Meijer entered the Ohio market.


Many Meijer stores are now open 24-hours-a-day, and the number of stores climbs into the 50's. Most stores are open 364-days-a-year.


Meijer opens the Grape Road-Mishawaka store, marking its first store in Indiana.


The Champaign Meijer marks the retailer's entrace into Illinois; later enters the Chicago market in 1999 with the opening of the Bolingbrook store.

1996 is launched on the World Wide Web, and Meijer enters the Kentucky market with its first store opening in Florence.


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.


Meijer formally introduced two hunger relief programs. The Simply Give program restocks the shelves of food pantries in the communities Meijer serves, and the Food Rescue program donates food to local food banks, and keeps it from going to waste.


Meijer launches mPerks, a free digital coupon program to help savvy, deal-seeking shoppers earn discounts without having to cut, print or present a coupon upon checkout. 


Meijer celebrates its 50th anniversary as the original supercenter, and announces its move into dairy production through the new Purple Cow Creamery.


Meijer opens its 200th store in Swartz Creek, Mich., and opens its first supercenter in the city of Detroit at Woodward Ave. and Eight Mile.


Meijer broke ground on a second store in Detroit at the site of the former Redford High School, and on a new dairy production facility in Tipp City, Ohio. Meijer held its inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft at Blythefield Country Club that generated more than $600,000 for the Simply Give program. 


Meijer enters its sixth state with the opening of four stores in Wisconsin, and acquires Aureus Health Services, a national specialty pharmacy and health services company. The Michigan Historical Commission recognized Meijer for making history on the site of its original “Thrifty Acres” store with a historical marker on the site of the nation’s first supercenter.


Contact Us

If you are a member of the news media and need to contact Meijer, please contact the Public Relations Team through the Media Hotline at 952-346-6608. 

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