Thrifty Acres


Thrifty Acres photo of Thrifty Acres
In 1962, grocers Hendrik and Fred Meijer pioneered the combination of two popular retail models, discount department stores and super markets, in a single store. At this site, on June 5, they opened and 80,000 square-foot addition to the 20,000 square-foot Meijer Super Market they had built in 1958. Called Thrifty Acres, the new store was grounded in the expertise in food retailing the Meijer family had gained since Hendrik Meijer (1883 - 1964) opened a small grocery store next to his barber shop in Greenville in 1934. The family company, led by Hendrik and his son Fred (1919 - 2011), was operating seventeen supermarkets in western Michigan when it decided to create its first self-service discount service department store with the hometown touch.
 
 
Side 2
The opening of the Thrifty Acres on this site in 1962 marked the beginning of a new retail concept and sealed the legacy of Hendrik and Fred Meijer. The untried business model brought risk. The single line of Check-outs for food and general merchandise worked. Leasing the nonfood departments to outside operators did not. There was inconsistency in stocking, pricing and assortment. Taking over the leased departments required unplanned investment in merchandise, and the new store was not an immediate success. Adding two other super stores in Muskegon and Holland increased the financial burden. But the five-inch reinforced concrete floors the Meijers used to make the big stores suitable for reuse as auto dealerships were never needed.

Registered Site S0729
Erected 2014

Location: 28th Street SE and Kalamazoo Avenue
Grand Rapids, Kent County

Topics:
Business & Industry


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