By Charlie Kadado
During a VIP grand opening Wednesday, hundreds of local leaders celebrated the arrival of Detroit’s first Meijer Supercenter. The store will open Thursday on Eight Mile and Woodward, on the city’s northern border. This comes two months after the grocery-chain, Whole Foods, opened on Detroit’s midtown area.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano were among those in attendance. Mayor Bing welcomed the Meijer representatives to Detroit, thanking them for the economic contribution they are providing for Detroit residents.
“(The opening) means new jobs, continued economic growth, and greater convenience for the residents of our city,” Bing said. “This project represents the future of Detroit.”
More than 550 jobs will be added as a result of the opening. As an added bonus, more than 6% of Meijer’s net profit will be donated to Detroit charitable organizations.
“This store represents a city experience our whole team wants to invest in and watch grow,” said store director Adrian Lewis, who interviewed more than 400 new employees.
Security is anticipated to be high at the new location. The Detroit Police Department says they will have continual presence at the supermarket.
The project is part of a new Gateway Marketplace renovation effort at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds. The Southfield based company is expected to bring in companies like Marshalls, Dots, Petco, Payless Shoes, and K&G Fashion to the plaza.
At 190,000 square-feet and 120,000 items in stock, Meijer will be the anchor store in the project.
“We are thrilled to offer the Meijer experience to our new neighbors,” Meijer co-chairman Doug Meijer said in a released statement. “There’s so much history and pride here, so many people who’ve lived their entire lives in the city of Detroit, that the opportunity to provide healthy living options and help encourage growth is something our company is grateful to be a part of.”
Meijer will also support Michigan small businesses by adding 55 Michigan-made grocery items in all stores statewide. These items include Bon-A-Rose marinara sauce from New Hudson, barbeque sauce from Let’z Eat Food in Waterford, pickled beets and peppers by Safie’s Pickles in Chesterfield, and Mediterranean foods by Teta Foods in Clinton Township.
Meijer, which is a Michigan-made business, operates 203 supercenters and grocery stores through Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. They have been in business since 1934.