Meijer Ground

If you’ve been to Meijer on the south side in the past few weeks you may have noticed some huge changes, complete with progress-bar-festooned “Update in progress…” signage.

A NEW FRONT ENTRANCE. The Starbucks counter near the checkouts closed in mid-January, and soon after, they obliterated the north entrance and moved the fresh flowers out of the corner near that entrance. The bakery is there now.

Meijer bakery. This used to be the fresh flowers and balloons area. (C)A2RS

The new entrance has a lit Welcome sign out front that isn’t quite lined up properly under the big Meijer sign, which leads me to think maybe it’s temporary.

This was soon after the entrance opened on February 3. (C)A2RS
Here it is on February 6. (C)A2RS
They’re carving it up like a $5.99 rotisserie chicken. (C)A2RS
“A Meijer Coming Soon sign in Illinois that matches the render for the Saline Road store. “Borrowed” from the Chicago Tribune.

A display inside the store shows that the exterior is eventually going to be completely redone to look like more modern Meijer stores:

NEW AISLE SIGNAGE. They’re ditching Meijer Gothic Demi, the sans-serif lower case type on the aisle signs, for a slightly wider, serifed font. That’s right, Meijer Gothic Demi. Meijer has their own font. Are you surprised? Everywhere else, Walmart has taken over, but Michigan is Meijer territory. Walmart actually gave up on Hartland, ceding it to Rural King, when Meijer came to town:

Panorama of Rural King store (formerly a Walmart Supercenter), Hartland, MI. (C)A2RS

(Rural King often chooses former Walmarts for their new stores; my father-in-law tells me that this is because one of the Rural Royals are married to a Walton heir, but I wouldn’t testify to that fact before a rural jury)

Anyway, if you shop at the west-side Meijer store at Jackson and Zeeb, you’re used to this type already. The west-side store often receives experimental updates that may or may not go chain-wide. This store had the navy/khaki uniforms years before the other Ann Arbor stores did; it also got this signage over two years ago…

Interior, west side Ann Arbor Meijer store, November 2016. (C)A2RS
This used to be the south entrance, adjacent to the Pharmacy. It is currently closed during its renovation. (C)A2RS

The south entrance is now closed and is undergoing heavy construction. I think it will reopen eventually, I’m pretty sure all Meijer stores will continue to have at least two entrances. (Our west side one still does.)

The fish tanks have been removed while the pet supply section moves within the store. Here’s where they used to be, right by the grocery:

Formerly the Pet department. Fishtanks were right here. (C)A2RS
Same spot right now. No longer pet supplies, now toys! (C)A2RS

Moving toys right next to grocery is a dangerous combination. I foresee many parents with no other option dragging their kids to the store to get anything in the back five or six aisles, only to find their trip hijacked by plaintive wails for stuffed critters and games about all of the funniest bodily humours.

LIFE’S RICH PAGEANT, AS SEEN THROUGH THE LENS OF THE MASS-MARKET GAMES AISLE

All that biohazard in the game aisle and yet it’s EVERYWHERE ELSE that’s currently covered in plastic sheeting:

The beer aisle. Over half of the beer cooler is closed, so all the craft is warm. The functional cooler is all Miller Coors beer, PBR, some of the cheapo brands like Natty, and the beery cocktails like Lime-A-Rita and hard seltzers. Oh, and ciders. It’s weird. (C)A2RS
At right was the low meat cooler. At left: beverages and what used to be the bakery. (C)A2RS
The electronics section. You can still get it FIRST here, for now, but I imagine this will be made more uniform soon. (C)A2RS

I expect more construction over the next few weeks, especially if the Jackson Road store is any indication. The grocery is a dramatically different layout from this store. Snacks and beverages in the back by the detergent. There’ll be a lot of rearranging ahead. Not to mention a drive-up window for the Pharmacy and probably some enhanced infrastructure for the Curbside pickup. Currently the Curbside orders are shopped by Meijer employees, but I’ve heard this is being offloaded to Jyve, a contract employer that provides merchandising and shopping services to supermarkets. (Shipt will probably continue to provide to-your-door delivery services, barring something unforeseen.)

And several folks have told me that after Saline Road is done, the Ypsilanti store (at Carpenter and Ellsworth) is next! The recent Target reset next door probably makes this even more necessary. I will be very interested to see if they keep the front mezzanine above the checkouts.

One Reply to “Meijer Ground”

  1. Meijer consistantly leaves money on the table with every visit. They don’t pay employees, even ones there for years, well enough. There are never enough people to help, finding someone to talk to is impossible. The Meijer on Zeeb is frequently out of items; recently I witnessed a cardinal retail error: they ran out of all types and sizes of milk.

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