In 1934 Hendrik Meijer
was an immigrant from The Netherlands
with a dream. His dream was that there would be 250+ giant stores each the size of several football field
s lining the beltway
freeway of every city in the Midwest
. In 1934 he would tell this to people and they would stare blankly, not knowing what to make of such concepts.
Actually, in that year Hendrik founded a general store in, appropriately enough, Holland, Michigan. One thing led to another, and by the 70s, there were huge stores called ‘Meijer’s Thrifty Acres’ throughout Michigan, selling groceries, housewares, clothes, hardware, gardening supplies, automotive supplies, guns n’ ammo, etc.. The ‘Thrifty Acres’ part of the name was dropped, and Meijer spread, first to Northern Ohio, then to the rest of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. Today Meijer is like a larger Wal-Mart, open all the time, often complete with a standard disgusting Meijer issue food court. The surface area of one typical store plus its parking lot is typically vast enough for the curvature of the earth to be a factor in trying to see across it. The chain is still owned by the family.
I had the misfortune of working at Meijer for a bit in high school, at store #150 in suburban Cincinnati to be exact. There were two days of training in which they showed us videos on the ‘Meijer spirit’ and crap like that. I learned many of the facts above from those torturesome days, as well as the following:
- If there is a dispute over the price of an item, the customer will automatically get his or her claimed price if it is under a dollar less than what it rings up as
- The bathroom doors at Meijer do not have handles, as per the wishes of Mrs. Hendrick.
- Cameras are watching you