In terms of the in-store experience, Meijer says consumers should expect the same perks they get at their larger stores. These include three options for checkout: staffed lanes, self-checkout, and shop and scan. The stores also have wide aisles and rear-access refrigerators so workers don’t crowd the store floor. The retailer also points out accessibility features in the store, like the use of the Aira app that will allow blind and low-vision customers to more easily navigate the store using their smartphone.
While a typical store ranges between 150,000 to 200,000 square feet, the new concept ranges from a smaller 75,000 to 90,0000 square feet, and it offers items in categories that include:
- Fresh produce and grocery
- In-store meat cutters
- Bakery equipped with in-store cake decorators
- Full-service deli
- In-store and drive-thru pharmacy
- Health and beauty care
- Baby, pets and household essentials
- Card and party and floral
As Retail Leader previously reported, the new concepts also feature items from local brands like Zingerman's and Achatz Handmade Pie Co. The meat selection will also include local brands like Fresh Sausage, Dearborn Brand, Kowalski Sausage Company and The Brinery. They will also sell pizza from the local chain Buddy's Pizza.
Numerous retailers across categories known for larger footprint stores have opened small-format retail stores to reach customers in areas or regions where a store of their typical footprint doesn’t make sense. Target, which has dozens of small-format stores in cities and college campuses, however, recently announced it’d focus on even larger format stores in the coming years. Walmart-owned wholesale club chain Sam’s Club will also open larger stores in the years ahead.