Grand Rapids, Mich. – In just its first year of business, Woodward Corner Market increased its assortment of locally-made or sourced products by 60 percent, launched numerous programs to make shopping convenient for customers, and hosted a food truck at Beaumont Hospital every weekday in April for hospital employees in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“When we opened our doors a year ago, we promised to meet the community’s needs. We just didn’t realize the challenges 2020 would bring at the time,” Woodward Corner Market Store Manager Natalie Rubino said. “I am so incredibly proud of my team for banding together to overcome them to support our community the way we did.”
Woodward Corner Market opened Jan. 29, 2020 in the Woodward Corners by Beaumont commercial development at Thirteen Mile Road and Woodward Ave. to much local fanfare. It marked the first small format store opened by Meijer in Metro Detroit and was also the first store the retailer opened without using single-use plastic or paper bags at checkout.
A few short weeks later the global pandemic erupted across the nation, solidifying the retailer’s commitment to community.
Even in the face of the pandemic, store leadership moved forward with numerous programs to make it easier for her customers to shop. For example, Woodward Corner Market:
- Offered grocery delivery through Shipt in January 2020 for those who didn’t want to shop in store. Chicken, eggs and shredded Mexican cheese are among the favorite items purchased at the store.
- Established a partnership with local restaurants, including Zeoli’s Italian, Bobcat Bonnies and Garden State Chef, in the summer to offer ready-made meals through the Woodward To Go program.
- Dramatically increased its local offerings, adding Mr. Leslie’s Cheesecakes, Metamora Greens, Riker’s Dog Treats and Mab’s Atomic Mustard to its already extensive lineup of local, artisan products.
- Launched the Flashfood program in October 2020, which allows customers to purchase food nearing its sell-by date – like meat, produce, seafood, deli and bakery products – at up to 50 percent off on the Flashfood app and then pick up in store.
- Launched the Meijer mPerks savings program in April 2020 to help customers save. To date, mPerks digital coupons are applied to 30 percent of the store’s transactions.
In addition to her commitment to customers, Rubino acknowledged those individuals now considered among the community’s most vital resources in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus: her team and the hospital employees at William Beaumont hospital. She frequently purchased meals for her team from local restaurants during their shifts, and arranged for a Meijer Food Truck to provide free drinks and snacks to hospital employees during key hours of the day each weekday in April.
“In the words of Fred Meijer, ‘our customers don’t need us, we need them,’ and 2020 marked a year where we all needed to work together to weather the storm,” Rubino said. “These efforts were just a small way to say ‘thank you.’”
About Woodward Corner Market
Woodward Corner Market is a new neighborhood grocery store operated by Meijer that focuses on bringing fresh food and value to customers in a market-like setting. As the largest tenant in a unique mixed-use development at the intersection of Thirteen Mile Road and Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak, Woodward Corner Market will provide residents and businesses alike access to fresh food and easily accessible convenience items in a one-of-a-kind store.