- Meijer is expected to close two of its Illinois-based smaller-format stores in Berwyn and Melrose Park on June 17, according to Progressive Grocer.
- Both stores are 90,000 square feet, less than half a Meijer’s typical 200,000-square-foot supercenters.
- Meijer recently said it was investing $400 million in new stores and remodels throughout the Midwest, along with an expansion to home delivery after a successful pilot in Detroit last year.
While several retailers have gone the way of experimenting with small-format stores in recent years — Hy-Vee Fourth + Vine and Whole Foods 365 are just two examples — there’s no significant data that shows that these stores are more successful than average or "supercenter" store formats.
What’s happening with Meijer is proof of just that. Although these stores may attract a large consumer base when they first open, shoppers could prefer the large formats and abundant product varieties of the retailer's traditional stores. Marketplace store formats are also less than half the size of the typical Meijer store.
What these Chicago stores did well was focus on particular consumer demographics that make up surrounding store neighborhoods by offering Hispanic and Italian food offerings. Catering to specific consumer segments is not always a sound practice in a community that is made up of a hodgepodge of cultures, however.
Ultimately, decreasing sales were blamed for the scheduled shutdowns. It will be interesting to see if other small format stores share a similar fate, and if Meijer is able to develop a strategy to better leverage its Marketplace locations.