- Meijer is expanding its scaled-down grocery concept outside of its home state of Michigan, announcing on Tuesday plans to open a 40,000-square-foot store in Cleveland, Ohio.
- The grocery store is part of an upcoming $52.8 million mixed-use development that includes a 196-unit apartment complex in the city's Fairfax neighborhood. The project broke ground on Tuesday and the grocery store could open as early 2023.
- The upcoming store aims to address food insecurity in the area and, like its other small-format markets, will feature fresh food, “artisan groceries” and a mix of low-priced private label and national brands.
Fairfax Market, as the development is known at this point, marks the fifth entry in Meijer's new small-format market concept that's bringing the supercenter retailer into more population-dense areas.
The project in Ohio aims to address food insecurity while also boosting local economic development, with 50 new jobs coming available at the grocery store, according to the press release. Fairfax is an urban food desert due to its lack of accessible supermarkets, according to the USDA.
The grocer is working with the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation and developer Fairmount Properties on the project. Fairfax Market will be located on the corner of East 105th Street and Cedar Avenue.
“The store will occupy a gateway corner to the Fairfax neighborhood and help to spur additional development,” Denise VanLeer, executive director of the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, said in a statement. “The location allows residents easy access to fresh food and provides walkability while activating Cedar Avenue.”
The project came to fruition after the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center, and community leaders and residents talked in 2018 about how to support the area.
Meijer was selected after officials from the Cleveland Clinic visited the retailer's Bridge Street Market in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which opened in 2018 and kicked off the small-store rollout for Meijer. The grocer has opened additional "neighborhood" grocery stores, including Rivertown Market and Woodward Corner Market.
In addition to these stores, which average around 40,000 square feet, Meijer plans to build a grocery store in Orion Township, Michigan, that would be around 90,000 square feet, which is less than half the size of the retailer's typical location.
Smaller formats allow Meijer to open stores in areas where its larger locations wouldn't fit, and to try out grocery products and services that it can scale to the rest of its fleet.
Meijer is among several grocers that have announced smaller formats this year, including Schnuck Markets, Sprouts Farmers Market and Lowes Foods. Fareway opened a store that is a third the size of its average location in a rural Iowa community that was at risk of becoming a food desert.