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Grocery chain Meijer in transition appoints another Meijer

Third generation takes reign

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

WALKER, Michigan - The U.S. Mid-West grocery chain Meijer which was founded by Dutch immigrant Hendrik Meijer sixty-two years ago, again has a Meijer as its chief executive officer. Hank Meijer assumed the post recently, replacing Jim McLean who left the company after three years at its helm. Hank Meijer (50) remains co-chairman along with his brother Doug (48) while their father Frederik (82) has been named chairman emeritus.

The company runs 157 stores and employs 85,000 people, up from the 117 stores and 76,000 employees in 1999 when McLean joined Meijer. Industry sources estimate that Meijer last year had sales of $10.6 billion. Plans to add ten more stores in 2002 have been scaled back to five but the company will start renovating some of the older locations.

Meijerís unique store concept since has been copied by Wal-Wartís Super stores. The Arkansas retailer has in several instances built its location right across the street of Meijer. Industry analysts fear that Wal-Martís unprecedented competition has influenced results negatively at Meijer.

The changes at Meijerís top suggest that the company, the 15th largest grocery retailer in the U.S.A., is determined to stay the course. The news was well received by Meijerís employees.