"Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - February 17, 2012: The Meijer location on Auburn Road in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1934, Meijer is a chain of superstores carrying groceries, housewares, gardening, clothing among other things with estimated revenues of almost $15 Billion for 2011."
Meijer's Intriguing Role In Retail History
By Cynthia Anaya
Meijer has been a beloved supercenter throughout the Midwest since their first location opened in the 1930s amid the Great Depression. In 1934, Hendrik Meijer bought over $300 of merchandise to open his grocery store, Meijer's Grocery, in Greenville, Michigan, unaware that the store would later ignite a revolution in the world of retail.
Meijer was a trailblazer as one of the first stores to add shopping carts and conveyor belts, but its most significant innovation was in 1962, when Meijer opened its first food and general merchandise store, Thrifty Acres, in Grand Rapids. Thrifty Acres was the first supercenter concept, allowing customers to buy groceries and other items from the same store.
Meijer was the pioneer of modern supercenters, and more Thrifty Acres stores opened over the next two decades and were renamed Meijer in 1986 (per Zippia). In 2015, the Detroit Free Press reported a Michigan Historical Marker was placed at the site of the first Thrifty Acres, marking "the birthplace of the American superstore."