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Meijer investing in softlines to augment a one-stop shop experience

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer is perhaps best known for the freshness it offers in the grocery aisles, but more and more Meijer customers will now look across the center aisle for bright colors, geometric patterns and advice thanks to a major initiative to upgrade its apparel offerings, the retailer announced Wednesday.

"Restyling our fashion offerings is not only great for our customers, who are searching for on-trend fashion items at the right price, but it also enhances the Meijer promise of a one-stop shopping experience," Peter Whitsett, EVP merchandising and marketing Meijer, said. "We knew our investment was sound over the holiday season when apparel realized a nearly 20% increase in sales."

Meijer and its style team unveiled this fresh approach in the fall through the distribution of a Fashion Look Book, social media and a new website, MeijerStyle.com, that focused on inspiring customers to create the look that fits both their style and wallet. The Meijer style team is led by Lynn Hempe, the retailer’s group VP softlines, and includes her buying team and input from fashion advisor, Mariana Keros, who has tracked the nation’s fashion trends for more than 20 years.

"We want our customers to know that we are serious about offering the most up-to-date fashion in our stores," Hempe said. "Our goal is to find that just-right mix where affordability and on-trend fashion inspire our customers to recognize opportunities to update their day-to-day style."

The efforts have not gone unnoticed, elevating the retailer’s potential to compete with national retailers in this space, said Edward Nakfoor, an independent retail consultant based in Birmingham, Mich.

"Meijer is taking substantial steps to expand and upgrade its fashion offerings as evidenced by the variety of on-trend merchandise. The creation of its dedicated fashion website and social media activities can greatly enhance these in-store efforts," Nakfoor said. "The key, though, will be for Meijer merchants and marketers to solidify its presence in the seasons ahead, allowing it to become a true challenger to the well-entrenched competitors in this space."

Meijer will expand its focus on apparel this year with regional advertising in national fashion magazines, including Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Cosmopolitan and Elle, as well as the distribution of another Look Book that will feature spring trends.

 

 

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Stater Bros. names new senior director, real estate

BY Vivian Gomez

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. has named Michael Reed as the company’s senior director of real estate.

"We have great confidence that Michael will do an outstanding job of leading our real estate division," said chairman and CEO Jack H. Brown. "His management and real estate expertise will help Stater Bros. meet our present and future real estate needs."

Reed has more than 13 years of retail real estate experience and has held various leadership positions with other retailers. He most recently served as real estate store development manager for Starbucks and was responsible for growing the company’s Midwest and Western mountain regions. He also worked for a major supermarket chain, including nine years in Southern California working his way through the ranks from real estate coordinator to director of real estate.

Reed has a bachelor of business administration degree in finance from Boise State University and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), where he served as the Illinois State Retail Chairman from 2011–2013.

 

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Elmer’s introduces new adhesive

BY Ryan Chavis

COLUMBUS, OH — Elmer’s Products, a supplier of adhesives, has introduced Elmer’s ProBond Advanced, a multi-service adhesive designed for mixed-material projects, to its line of products. The product provides the strength of polyurethane glue without the foam residue that could potentially ruin a project’s finished appearance, the company said.

"As trends, tastes and aspirations evolve, the brand that people grew up trusting is delivering a mixed-material formula as unique and versatile as their most creative home project ideas. Whether you’re working with stone, metal, ceramic, wood or glass, ‘opposites attract, as ProBond Advanced’s unique formula makes it easy to bond porous to non-porous materials," said Elmer’s product manager, Emily von Stein. "From do-it-yourself novices to experts, you can rely on ProBond Advanced to provide the heavy-duty strength and durability you need without the mess."

ProBond Advanced is nontoxic and 100% weatherproof, allowing project enthusiasts to use it safely indoors or outdoors any time of the year.

For best application, ProBond Advanced should when be used air, parts and glue are warmer than 60F. The adhesive also should be used on clean, dry and oil and grease-free surfaces. ProBond Advanced is recommended when bonding porous and semi-porous materials, like ceramic, wood, pottery and drywall to non-porous surfaces, such as glass, metal and stone.

 

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