Meijer Company History Timeline


In business since 1934, Meijer has created up to 10,000 private-label brands.

Their father and grandfather, Hendrik, a Dutch immigrant, started the company in 1934.

In 1934 he opened his first food store with the help of his wife, his son Fred and his daughter Johanna.


By 1937 Hendrik Meijer had doubled the size of his original store.


In 1942 Meijer opened a second store.


The Grand Rapids, MI-based retailer will celebrate that historical event that occurred on June 6, 1962.


“Don’t Just Drop Stamps—Give Customers Something Better,” Progressive Grocer, February, 1963.


The growth of Meijer was overshadowed, however, by the death of founder Hendrick at age 57 in 1964.

The second such store opened in Norton Shores later that year, followed by two more in 1964, one on Alpine Avenue in Walker, Michigan, and one on Westnedge Avenue in Portage, Michigan.

In 1964, the year Hendrick Meijer died, the Meijer family had three super center stores in operation.


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


Meijer expanded into Northern Michigan with their 33rd location in Traverse City opening in 1977, which is still open to this day.


Though Meijer planned to build more retail/gas station combination stores, its plans were stalled by a 1978 law prohibiting a business from selling both gasoline and alcohol unless it was in a village, town, or municipality with a population less than 3,000.


In 1980, Meijer began a discount pharmacy chain called Spaar (from the Dutch word for "save"), which opened four stores in 1980 in former Meijer supermarket locations.


One year after launching the Spaar brand, in 1981, Meijer began opening Meijer Square stores, which were traditional discount department stores lacking a full grocery section.


Casual Court was renamed Tansy in 1982.


Hank Meijer, "Thrifty Years: The Life of Hendrik Meijer", Eerdmans, 1984


In 1985, Forbes magazine reported Walmart at the time had failed in what were then known as hypermarkets because Sam Walton and company did not understand the grocery business.


Under his leadership, the Thrifty Acres stores became a success and were renamed Meijer in 1986.


In an effort to sell alcohol in its Michigan stores, in March 1988 Meijer pushed passage of a state bill to change the ten-year-old law prohibiting the sale of alcohol and gasoline from the same location.

A major change in Meijer’s practices occurred a year later when the company announced it would keep most of its Michigan and Ohio stores open 24 hours after March 7, 1988.

“Longtime Super Store Meijer Poised for Growth After Completion of DC,” Discount Store News, December 19, 1988.

Meijer had reason enough to compete at any level possible; by 1988 the company, still unknown outside its Michigan/Ohio retail segment, ranked number 42 in the Fortune 400 private companies.


_____, “Meijer Stores to Use Electronic Checking System,” Grand Rapids Press, March 12, 1989.

Strnad, Patricia, “Hypermarket Pioneer Changes Tack,” Advertising Age, September 25, 1989.


Muller, Joann, “Meijer First Store To Cut Double Coupons,” Detroit Free Press, February 20, 1990.


“Meijer Leads Field as Hyper/Supercenter Challengers Take Aim,” Discount Store News, July 22, 1991.

Both Ames and Hills filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1991.)


Meijer entered the wholesale shopping segment in 1992 with the development of SourceClub, warehouse-shopping designed for the individual shopper, as well as the more traditional targeted customers from small businesses and affiliated groups.


The concept proved unsuccessful in competition against Sam's Club and Costco, and all seven SourceClub stores were closed in 1994.


In 1996, the first regular Kentucky Meijer location in opened Florence, along with four nearby locations in Ohio which were Fairfield, Loveland, West Chester and Eastgate North Drive in Cincinnati.


Having reported revenues amounting to $6 billion in 1997, Meijer is clearly meeting the shopping needs of people throughout the Midwest.

Two more Kentucky locations would open on Paul Jones Way in Lexington and Towne Center Drive in Louisville in 1997.


In 1998, three new Meijer locations opened in the Louisville area on Dixie Highway, Preston Highway and South Hurstbourne Parkway.


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


A year later in 2000, three Illinois Meijer locations would open in Aurora, St Charles and Springfield.


Another Meijer store in Bolingbrook opened on Boughton Road by The Promenade in May 2002, three years after the Weber Road location.


In April 2003, Meijer selected DeVito/Verdi, an award-winning advertising agency in New York, to handle its $25-million account.

The Reynoldsburg location would also open in 2003.

In 2003, the company announced that all new Meijer stores would feature an entirely new format and company image, complete with a new logo intended to make the Meijer stores seem "friendly" and inviting.


In 2006, Meijer donated money to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to create the paid position called the Frederik Meijer Chair of Dutch Language and Culture.


In May 2007, the first LEED-certified Meijer store opened in the second phase of the Fairlane Green development in Allen Park, Michigan.

In August 2007, the store announced they were cutting about 500 managers (12% of existing management staff). The 500 were given severance packages, while other managers were transferred to other stores or "reassigned to different positions".


In 2009, the chain announced a new concept in the Chicago region called Meijer Marketplace, comprising smaller stores that focus more on grocery items and pharmacy.


In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands.


In September 2012, Meijer was ranked No.


In 2013, Meijer opened its 200th supercenter in Swartz Creek, Michigan.

In 2013, Meijer ranked No.


In 2014, Meijer was the first retailer to accept both Apple Pay and CurrentC for purchases in its stores and gas stations despite possible penalties from Merchant Customer Exchange for accepting Apple Pay.


Meijer opened its first locations in Wisconsin in June 2015.


In 2017, Meijer expanded across the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with stores in Sault Ste.


Marie, and Escanaba, with a third location that opened in 2018 in Marquette, a frontier the chain had long anticipated.


In September 2020, Fresh Thyme announced that it was withdrawing from the state of Nebraska by closing its remaining three stores after closing two stores the previous year.

Meijer is also expanding into the Youngstown area with a store in Boardman, Ohio in 2020, and Austintown.

In 2020, Meijer's score improved to a 100% with the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, which joined 680 major United States businesses that also scored a 100% that year.


"Meijer Incorporated ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved April 15, 2021 from

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How Old Is Meijer?

Meijer is 89 years old.

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Frederik Meijer founded Meijer.

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Meijer may also be known as or be related to Meijer, Meijer Inc, Meijer Inc., Meijer Pharmacy and Meijer, Inc.