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NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Citing a long-standing reputation for low prices and quality merchandise, coupled with an innovative spirit and a deep understanding of its customers' needs, PROGRESSIVE GROCER magazine has selected Meijer as its "2006 Retailer of the Year."
The magazine honors the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer in its December issue. This marks the first time Meijer has been honored with the magazine's highest annual award. PROGRESSIVE GROCER has been a leading voice of the grocery industry for more than 80 years.
"The reasons for our selection are many, and include Meijer's reputation as an exemplary performer in the Midwest, with aggressive growth plans, and demonstrated ability to continue to improve and build upon the concept that the Meijer family pioneered," said Stephen Dowdell, editor-in-chief of PROGRESSIVE GROCER.
In the upcoming article on Meijer, entitled The True Center of 'Super,' the magazine's editors offer their take on what has made the retailer so successful: "Without question, Meijer's strongest advantages are its relationships with customers, its solid reputation for low price and quality, and the agility -- given its size -- that comes from private entrepreneurial ownership. These three elements permeate everything the chain does."
"We are flattered to have been named Retailer of the Year," said co- chairman and co-c.e.o. Hank Meijer. "It's been an extremely competitive and eventful year for us, and we're so pleased with what our team has accomplished."
Despite an onslaught of deep-pocketed competitors and an ever-changing consumer set, Meijer has successfully proven to adapt, innovate and "roll up its sleeves and get things done." The magazine points to two recent examples of how Meijer sharpened its competitive edge: The introduction of its chain- wide Price Drop program in July, and its pharmacy plan to offer free antibiotics in October.
"We're proud of the many programs we introduced this year that solidified our reputation for lower prices and higher standards," said Meijer president Mark Murray. "In addition to dropping prices storewide on thousands of items and offering free antibiotics for those prescription drugs most used by families, we have put forth a number of other unique programs and events that serve the community, benefit the consumer and, ultimately, drive sales."
PROGRESSIVE GROCER'S Dowdell further commended Meijer as "One of the nation's leading family-run grocery organizations that is well-loved by shoppers for its great selection and low prices. We look forward to saluting the extended Meijer family in our upcoming December issue."
The family-run Meijer, a pioneer of the supercenter concept, operates 176 stores throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio, and employs more than 63,000 team members.