The opening celebrations began with a ribbon-cutting event, followed by remarks from Meijer leadership and local officials.
In attendance for Meijer was the CEO Hank Meijer. During the grand opening Meijer said “We always strive to find locations that will bring a fresher retail approach to communities, so we are pleased to provide our new neighbors with an incredible combination of selection and quality at lower prices.”
CEO Hank Meijer continued by saying the growth of Meijer stores has exceeded all hopes his father and grandfather had. “My grandfather opened the first storefront next to his barber shop as a means to pay the rent,” Meijer said. “My dad opened the first supercenter in 1962, and he never really wanted to see how big it got, he just knew he wanted it to grow.” Meijer said that without the expansion of suburbs, there wouldn’t be any room for growth. “The growth of the suburbs contributes to the growth of the stores,” he said. “Customers don’t need us, we need them.”
The new store is the last of nine new Meijer supercenters to open The Flat Rock store will welcomes customers from the Brownstown, Huron Township, Carleton, New Boston, Gibraltar and other local communities.
The site also includes a 24-hour gas station and a pharmacy that offers drive-thru pick up “Our team has worked very hard to prepare for this opening, and we’re excited to finally open doors in this great community,” Meijer President Rick Keyes said.
With the Flat Rock site adding to the nearly 40 Meijer locations in southeastern Michigan, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of support said Frank Guglielmi, Meijer’s senior director of communications.
“We’re a new store opening in a great community with a new team,” Store Director Jack Schubert said. “We have gotten such positive feedback with the opening.” Schubert has been with the company for 38 years and said Meijer has a lot to offer the community of Flat Rock. “Flat Rock is such a great community,” Keyes said. “We want to offer the community convenience and we really want to be a part of the community.” “We like to promote from within,” Schubert said. “Of our about 300 new team members, only some of them are transferred from other locations around the Downriver area. The rest are all either residents of Flat Rock
or residents of the surrounding areas.” John Bergeron, mayor pro tempore on the city council, filled in for Mayor Jonathan Dropiewski, who was out of town on business. Mr. Bergeron thanked the Grand Rapids-based retailer for “choosing us.” He recounted the founding of Meijer as a small retailer in 1934 and said the growth of the popular store chain “reflects the growth of Flat Rock. We still have small-town values, but we’re growing and holding onto our values. We couldn’t have found a better company to come in and share these values.”
As for being part of a community, The store also demonstrated its commitment to Flat Rock by donating a $25,000 check to the Flat Rock Community Schools.
“We love being a part of the community,” Keyes said. “We spoke with team members to find out what was most important to them in their community and the most comments we received were regarding the schools.” With police and fire services being equally important to the community, Keyes said Meijer already has arranged for the Flat Rock Police Department to participate in the shop with a hero event in December. “We give the store directors a budget to work with and they let us know what is going on in the community,” Keyes said.
Downriver resident and football coach Brandon Reaume, is regular Meijer shopper., praised the company. He praised Meijer for its awesome generosity. “They gave us a $500 gift card for food during practices and bought a huge advertising sign on our field, which is one of our bigger fundraisers. While the store had
the cheer team and band do the opening ceremony, our football players were helping customers bag their groceries and load up their vehicles.” State Rep Bill LaVoy said “I think it is encouraging to see a family-owned Michigan company investing in Flat Rock. The economic impact will help make the region even more appealing to families and other businesses. Flat Rock being chosen as a place for them to invest speaks volumes about the people that live and work here. I want to commend everyone including the Mayor and City Council who worked very hard to make this possible and for inviting me to be a part of such a big day for the community.”