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    PG Honors Meijer as its 2015 Retailer of the Year

    Midwestern retailer excels at listening to shoppers, giving back to community

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ
    (From left) PG's Meg Major, Hank Meijer, PG's Jim Dudlicek, J.K. Symancyk and PG's Jeff Friedman

    Progressive Grocer has selected Midwestern supercenter retailer Meijer Inc. as its 2015 Retailer of the Year, the leading grocery retailing trade publication’s highest honor bestowed annually in its October issue to one outstanding supermarket organization in the nation.

    “We are delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate the unrivaled commitment and vital role the entire extended Meijer family plays on a daily basis, to simply give their best in countless meaningful ways,” said PG Chief Content Editor Meg Major, presenting the award Tuesday evening during a gathering of store directors at Meijer’s corporate headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich.

    “As the benchmark by which we measure the industry’s most successful food retailers,” Major cdfdfontinued, “we take great pride in presenting our Retailer of the Year award, not only to [co-chairmen] Hank [and] Doug [Meijer] and [President] J.K. [Symancyk], but each of you here this evening, for carrying on a proud and enduring legacy of giving back by paying it forward, which has been at the forefront of your company's exemplary performance.”

    Meijer was last recognized with the distinction as PG’s Retailer of the Year in 2006, Major added, “but the great strides the company has made in the intervening years, make it rightfully worthy of merit once again.”

    'A fierce, nimble competitor'

    Editor-in-Chief Jim Dudlicek shared with the crowd excerpts of the feature article that will profile Meijer in PG’s October 2015 issue:

    “A fierce, nimble competitor, Meijer exhibits many hallmarks of a company setting the pace for its peers. Guided by a keen focus on the five Ps – product, presentation, promotion, place and, particularly, price – Meijer continues to gain market share and fine-tune the 'retail format of choice.' Yet as it grows, its guiding ethos – to remain true to the simple philosophy that if you take care of customers, team members and community, they’ll take care of you – mirrors its stance as a conscientious company that’s continuously embraced the importance of supporting the communities where its customers and team members work and live.

    “Listening to shoppers is a key component in paving the way to Meijer's successful standing as a key player in an ever-crowded field of retail formats. From its landmark stores in Michigan, through expansions into Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, to its latest stores in metropolitan Milwaukee after entering Wisconsin earlier this year, Meijer has demonstrated a commitment to its core customers and an understanding of the cross-channel world in which they live – and an ongoing commitment to providing quality goods to consumers hungry for value.”

    Additionally, as part of the honor, PG donated a check for $10,000 to Simply Give, Meijer’s corporate charitable giving program.

    Criteria for selection

    PG’s Retailer of the Year is selected annually based on a set of criteria, including the following:

    - The overall merits of a multistate U.S. food retailer's entire performance, inclusive of its stance as a tough, relevant, progressive competitor.
    Vendor feedback attesting to its equitable, productive trading partner relationships.
    - An ability to create and foster a great place to work.
    Support provided to local communities by its family of associates.

    Michigan-based Meijer operates more than 220 stores throughout its home state, as well as Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Wisconsin.

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ
    • About Jim Dudlicek As editorial director of Progressive Grocer, Jim Dudlicek oversees daily operations of the magazine, spearheads its signature features, produces PG’s monthly Trend Alert newsletter on center store issues, moderates its regular webcast series, and writes and comments about a wide range of grocery issues. A food industry journalist since 2002, Jim came to PG in June 2010 after covering the dairy industry for 7½ years, during which time he served as chief editor of Dairy Field and Dairy Foods magazines. A graduate of Marquette University, Jim is fascinated by how truly progressive grocers inspire consumers to enjoy food, transforming the industry from mere merchants into educators that can take the most basic of all necessities and turn it into something profound and life-enhancing. Follow him at www.twitter.com/JimDudlicek

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