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Michigan Historical Commission recognizes Meijer for breaking historical ground in retail

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Michigan Historical Commission on Monday recognized Meijer for making history on the site of its original “Thrifty Acres” store. A Michigan Historical Marker was unveiled today on the site of the nation’s first supercenter.
 
Opened in June 1962, the original 100,000-square-foot store at 28th St. and Kalamazoo Ave. in Grand Rapids combined food retailing with general merchandise. The store featured a 7-acre parking lot, along with 18 checkout lanes – a service unheard of at the time – that allowed customers to pay for everything in a single transaction, regardless of the variety or quantity purchased. It was the birth of the supercenter and the springboard for a concept that would grow into a retail phenomenon and establish the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer as a pioneer of one-stop shopping.
 
“We are proud to be recognized for the innovative foresight our father and grandfather demonstrated when they opened ‘Thrifty Acres,’” Meijer co-chairman Hank Meijer said. “They saw an opportunity to bring families more retail choices and ultimately succeeded in breaking down traditional barriers between selling groceries and selling clothes or hardware. My father and grandfather helped revolutionize retail and left us an incredible legacy to build upon.”
 
“Meijer is more than one of Michigan’s leading retailers today; it is also a pioneer that still shapes how America shops,” said Historical Society of Michigan executive director Larry Wagenaar, who also serves on the Michigan Historical Commission. “By piloting a new retail approach that combined groceries with general merchandise in its ‘Thrifty Acres’ store, Meijer launched an ingenious — and very successful — model, which had a major impact on retailing throughout the United States.”
 
Since the opening of “Thrifty Acres,” Meijer has followed a course of steady growth, expanding into five additional Midwest states and employing more than 65,000 people in 219 stores, six distribution centers and several manufacturing facilities. The company recently opened its first two stores in southeastern Wisconsin and are opening two additional stores in the Milwaukee area in August.
 
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C-Line releases new file jackets, binder pockets

BY Lesley Thulin

C-Line has released two new filing products: Write-on Poly File Jackets and C-Line’s Binder Pockets with Write-on Tabs.

The file jackets, which are available in amber orange, lime green, charcoal gray, raspberry red and steel blue, feature a 1-inch expansion and hold up to 200 letter-sized documents. They are available in a 10-pack, retailing for $12.99, and a 25-count box, which retails for $35.95.  

The binder pockets are available in the same colors and packaged in a set of five, retailing for $5.25.

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Report: Sobeys to cut 1,300 jobs

BY Antoinette Alexander

STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Canadian grocer Sobeys, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Co., is reportedly looking to cut 1,300 jobs as it streamlines its distribution operations, according to The Globe and Mail.

According to the report, the grocer, which acquired Safeway Canada in 2013, is shuttering its Milton, Ontario, distribution center after its expanded automated facility in Vaughan, Ontario, launches in October of 2016.

The company’s Calgary facility will close after its recently acquired former Target distribution center opens in mid-2017, according to the article. It expects its King Edward center in Winnipeg to close early in 2016.

Sobeys owns or franchises approximately 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Lawton’s Drug Stores as well as more than 350 retail fuel locations.
 

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