Gas station to open Thursday,April 25
By Ken DeLaat
And now we have a date.
On Tuesday,May 21, ending years of anticipation, Meijer takes its place as a major presence in our area.
And ‘anticipation’ doesn’t do justice to the Meijer mania that was spawned several years ago when the rumor mill began grinding about a Meijer arrival in our parts. One of our first articles on the subject drew an enormous amount of readers and when the decision on a site was finalized the numbers went skyward again.
Being a fledgling news site at the time we considered a weekly Meijer series with subjects such as an interview with Sandy the Penny Horse or an in-depth look at the true meaning of Perks, but instead we posted periodic pictures of the progress being made after an April groundbreaking last year and each article was devoured by a community hungry for news about the retail giant.
So, what does it mean for our area?
Well, for one thing it means about 300 jobs have been filled because of this newest jewel in the Meijer crown. Staff have been hired and are reportedly working in the facility stocking the shelves to ready the store for the opening.
It also provides another option in a crowded local grocery competition.
And one of these is, of course, Fremont’s other big store.
The close proximity of Meijer to Walmart isn’t uncommon as they seem to share neighborhoods throughout the state. Both stores offer a wide variety of merchandise both stores have full service pharmacy’s and both have groceries.
And then there is the Meijer mystique.
Maybe it’s because they began as a small Greenville grocer so despite their size (116 stores in Michigan alone) they remain a local store in the eyes of many. Maybe it’s their renown produce department an area as well staged as any I’ve encountered.
Or maybe it’s because of Sandy.
At any rate the excitement will be running high come Opening Day. There will be the usual ribbon cutting and some local dignitaries sharing room in front with the Meijer folks. Words will be spoken, appreciation will be doled out generously, photos will be taken...
Then, finally, the 155,000 square-foot Fremont supercenter will open their doors and a flood of humanity will challenge the training of a store filled primarily with recent hires.
Let the shopping begin.