Happy Hallowe’en with an ad from 40 years ago, October 1979. For Star Wars, Frankenstein or alien costumes, Hairy Half-masks, Blowup costumes, candy buckets, we’ve been the one-stop shop for Hallowe’en all along! #happyhalloween #retailhistory #1970s #archives #vintageads
We received these color photographs last week from 40-yr team member in Marketing, Thomas, who wrote “In the 1980s the Meijer Marketing team created an inflatable display to be seen in parades and new store openings all over Michigan. Draped over a van and inflated by a built in blower, it featured Thrifty riding atop a Meijer semi. Kids loved it when the semi’s stack would blow ‘smoke’—simulated by discharging a hidden fire extinguisher internally connected by a long chute. The vans driver could see NOTHING therefore would be totally dependent on instructions relayed by spotters via two-way radios. Strong winds were always a challenge. Throughout the parade we would hear crowd comments such as ‘you’re not going to clear that power line up ahead’ or ‘how are you going to get beneath that overpass?’ Their concerns would change to cheers as we ‘helped’ Thrifty duck beneath obstacles by pulling down on guy-wires attaches to his head.” Thomas thank you for sharing these photographs and your story with the Meijer Heritage Center, and thank you for your 40 years of service to Meijer!
Meijer wrapped up its 68th annual Service Recognition Dinners this week, honoring the milestone anniversaries of 3500 team members, giving us a chance to look back and forth at a proud tradition of Recognition and Engagement. When Meijer expanded into the Grand Rapids market during the 1950s, the Meijers deliberately looked for ways to keep their growing family of retail, warehouse and office staff connected. Annual dinners included awards for milestone anniversaries, Safe Driving records, and bowling league wins! In 1976 the company announced a new award, the Fred Meijer Community Service Award, honoring team members for their volunteer commitments. Pictured here, Fred and Hendrik presenting at an award dinner in the 1950s; Hank and Doug Meijer with senior executives honoring award recipients; Marvin Blank receiving the Fred Meijer Award in 1981; 40yr team member Al Blackburn; and 45yr team member Roger Zoscsak, congratulated and thanked by the Meijer’s and senior executives at the dinner in Grand Rapids.
Last week I told my awesome cashier Adrean at Store 311, Grand Rapids, Mi, what a great history his store has. “Really?” He said, “this store?” Store 311, originally Store 011, at the corner of Kalamazoo and 28th Street opened in 1958 as part of the growing Meijer Supermarkets chain. Its innovative arch-roofed design, climate controlled back rooms, warm lighting and flexible sales floor space were celebrated in industry magazines across North America and Europe. Miss Michigan helped President Hendrik Meijer cut the ribbon at the Grand Opening. But the best was yet to come. With an 80,000 sq ft addition, Store 011 changed the retail landscape in the US permanently as the country’s first true supercenter, with full grocery and full general merchandise at one central checkout. The risk paid off, and the Meijer family’s pride in Store 011 shows in the many pictures taken of Fred at Store 011 over the years. Longtime Store 311 team members knew Fred personally and often talk to me about him when I shop there. In 2015 Meijer’s head of Properties successfully petitioned the Michigan Historical Commission to designate Store 311 an historic site. Store 311 team members, thank you for keeping an important Meijer legacy alive with your excellent customer focus and passion to compete!
It’s the third anniversary of the Meijer Heritage Center! From the Grand Opening in 2016 until today we’ve held open house and other events for team members present and retiring, new hire orientation tours, programs, panels and staged exhibitions sharing the Meijer legacy past present and future. We’ve also recorded scores of team member interviews and responded to countless research requests across the company. Thanks for visiting in person and online and keeping our history alive! Check out the link to our virtual tour in our bio! #happyanniversary #meijerhistory #corporatemuseum #retailhistory #archives #meijer