GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Dec. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Meijer checkout lanes and parking lot pickup spaces were the backdrop for many tears of joy and relieved expressions on Saturday as the retailer celebrated its ninth annual Very Merry Meijer event by surprising hundreds of customers with a special holiday shopping spree. Meijer Store Directors and Executives surprised one in-store customer with a $1,000 shopping spree and two Meijer Pickup customers with $250 coupons along with gift bags full of Meijer products in each of the retailer's 262 stores across the Midwest.
"For most families, the holidays are a time for celebrating traditions, and our family is no different," Executive Chairman Hank Meijer said. "Very Merry Meijer is among our favorite holiday traditions because we get to spread cheer and give thanks to our customers and team members. Seeing the joy on their faces when we surprise them warms our hearts and reminds all of the true spirit of the season – which is why we keep doing this every year."
The retailer returned to the tradition's roots by surprising customers with a $1,000 gift card upon checkout – just as they were about to pay for their purchase.
"The look of surprise on their faces always brings us such cheer," Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. "Very Merry Meijer embodies the spirit of the season that giving is truly better than receiving. Our teams look forward to it every year."
After incorporating surprises for Meijer Pickup shoppers into the nearly-decade old tradition last year, the retailer continued the new addition again this year.
In total, the nine Very Merry Meijer events held since 2014 gifted an estimated 4,200 customers with more than $1.8 million in toys, clothes, electronics, groceries and small appliances.
Customers were randomly chosen for the surprise and came from all walks of life, but one thing united them all – the looks of disbelief on their faces upon receiving their Very Merry Meijer surprises.
Dillon and Jenna Pearce were recipients of the $1,000 surprise at the Springfield, Ill. Meijer. The parents of three were committed to sticking to a tight $400 budget during their holiday shopping trip on Saturday after unexpected home repairs this summer depleted much of their Christmas fund.
As they shopped, the pair also felt the stress of recent news that their youngest would need to have surgery soon at less than a year old, taking Jenna away from work for a significant period and adding unexpected medical bills to their plates. When Meijer Store Director Craig Knapp approached them with a $1,000 gift card, they struggled to find words to express their feelings.
"We are very unsure what exactly we did, or said, or if we appropriately shared our gratitude through the utter shock and disbelief that we had been selected," the Pearces said in a letter to the store following the event. "After leaving your store, and the shock subsided, we cried together as we felt the huge impact and relief this gift provides for our family."
The parents went on to say they would use the surprise to not only give their children a happy holiday, but also to stock their pantry for several grocery trips to come.
Meijer also continued its tradition of celebrating its team members through the Very Merry Meijer festivities, surprising three team members in each of its stores with $200 shopping sprees as well.
"I was completely shocked," said Lois Smith, a Cashier at the Cedar Springs, Mich. Meijer. "With all the health issues I've had recently and not being able to work, this means so much. It will help a ton. Meijer has taken such good care of me."
View the Very Merry Meijer surprises video and follow the fun on social channels at #VeryMerryMeijer.
About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 499 supercenters, neighborhood markets and Express locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the "one-stop shopping" concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @Meijer and @MeijerPR or become a fan on Facebook.