Meijer’s fourth small-format store, Rivertown Market in Detroit, is searching for hyperlocal products—2,000 items to be exact—to fill its shelves upon opening later this year. Store Manager Marcus Reliford set the goal and is inviting local businesses to submit their offerings for consideration.
“We want to help local businesses succeed,” said Reliford, a Detroit native who joined Meijer in September 2020. “We want to showcase all Detroit has to offer and believe Rivertown Market is place to do it.”
Much like the retailer’s three other small format stores in Michigan—Bridge Street Market in Grand Rapids, Woodward Corner Market in Royal Oak and Capital City Market in Lansing—Rivertown Market will focus on offering customers a vast assortment of fresh food, artisanal groceries and Meijer and national brand products at low prices.
Construction is underway on the 42,000-square-foot Rivertown Market at 1475 East Jefferson Ave. The standalone neighborhood market will create about 60 jobs, offer competitive wages and access to health benefits as well as a 401(k) program with a company match.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer will leverage its ongoing partnership with RangeMe, an Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) company that the retailer is also using to source local products for all its stores as part of its Localization Summit, to manage Rivertown Market’s product submissions by qualifying and connecting suppliers with the appropriate buyers.
“Our small format stores have always had the autonomy to stock the local products that fit their communities’ needs,” said Justin Stricklen, director of market format stores for Meijer. “This is the first time we’ve put out a call for those vendors to raise their hands and showcase their offerings. We believe there is a lot of potential out there, and we’re excited to begin building those lasting partnerships to benefit our customers.”
Woodward Corner Market opened Jan. 29 in the Woodward Corners by Beaumont commercial development in Royal Oak, Mich., marking the first small-format store opened by Meijer in metropolitan Detroit. The Michigan-based chain also operates the small-format Bridge Street Market.
The 41,000-square-foot store offers a wide assortment of fresh and prepared foods as well as open-air elements, with 25-foot ceilings and a pedestrian-friendly design, near the Beaumont Hospital campus.
The market is focused on bringing customers a mix of fresh, local and convenient food at low prices, store manager Natalie Rubino said. The selection includes an estimated 2,000 local artisan items, including Daily Dozen Doughnuts, New York Bagel and Bath Savvy Soaps.
“We’ve been looking forward to offering our new, local grocery store for quite some time,” Rubino said. “Woodward Corner Market is unique, and our team has been hard at work to ensure we have the best products on our shelves to meet the community’s needs.”
The store is focused on sustainability and does not offer single-use plastic or paper bags at checkout, instead offering only sustainable bag alternatives that are made to be reused up to 125 times.
“Meijer is committed to lessening our impact on the environment, and we saw an opportunity to reinforce that commitment by not offering traditional single-use plastic bags from day one at Woodward Corner Market,” Rubino said when the move to sustainable bags was announced. “We understand this is not a common practice, but we believe this is the right move for this community and our customers.”
The market’s first day of business featured a ribbon-cutting event with comments from Rubino, Executive Chairman Hank Meijer, Royal Oak City Commissioner Patricia Paruch and Beaumont Health Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Wilson. The market also demonstrated its commitment to the community by awarding $5,000 donations to three community organizations: Yad Ezra, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the Royal Oak Youth Assistance.
“At Meijer, we are committed to being a good neighbor,” Hank Meijer said. “We are excited to join the innovative Woodward Corners by Beaumont commercial development and share our newest fresh market with the community.”
Woodward Corners focuses on fresh with offerings that include bakery items, fresh meat and deli offerings, plus Meijer and national brand products. It hosts a Great Lakes Coffee coffee shop that specializes in nitro brews; an extensive beer, wine and liquor counter; and an expansive international food aisle with eight ethnic backgrounds, including Middle Eastern, kosher, Hispanic, European and Asian foods.