With the summer season cooling down, Meijer is launching its annual back-to-college event, Meijer Mania, to help students gear up for the new school year.
From Aug. 14 to Sept. 7, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer is hosting 22 events for more than 45,000 incoming college freshmen from 19 colleges across the Midwest, including Western Kentucky University, Illinois State University and Michigan State University.
The in-store events will offer students bus transportation from campuses to their local Meijer store for a night of back-to-school shopping and celebrations, including a DJ, photo booth and interactive games and contests.
"Our Meijer Mania events provide students the opportunity to shop for their first living spaces away from home and share a fun-filled bonding experience with classmates," Cathy Cooper, senior director of promotions and sponsorships for Meijer, said in a statement. "We are pleased to partner with so many colleges and universities to help ease the transition of moving into a new living environment for these students."
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer has teamed up with brands such as Chobani, Del Monte Fresh Produce and Clif Bar to offer samples and coupons, as well as potential big-ticket giveaways. The retailer expects to draw anywhere from 300 to 6,500 freshmen per event.
For more than 15 years, Meijer has been hosting in-store events for incoming college freshmen to introduce students to the Meijer brand. One of retail’s leading shopping seasons, back-to-school and college is a $82.8 billion industry, according to the National Retail Federation. Meijer Mania serves as one of the retailer’s key initiatives to drive back-to-school spending.
The retailer also recently added back-to-school items to its home delivery service via Shipt and cut in-store prices on more than 300 of its most popular items. Meijer back-to-school buyer Michael McKenzie said Meijer stores have seen back-to-school business double week over week in late July, and he expects sales will continue to increase through September.