Meijer gave thanks in a big way this year when it once again surprised an unsuspecting customer in each of its 223 stores by "gifting" them their entire shopping cart filled with Thanksgiving groceries and gifts upon checkout.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer brought back its Very Merry Meijer event Nov. 21 by surprising a customer in each of its stores, but took it a step further when it gave a $100 Meijer gift card to the Meijer cashier helping the customer.
In addition, each surprised customer received an additional $100 Meijer gift card to help pass along the generosity.
"The holidays are a time to give thanks, and we were so excited to bring back the Very Merry Meijer event to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear: our customers and team members," Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. "We are very thankful for our customers and team members, and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Happy Thanksgiving."
The Very Merry Meijer event resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in groceries and gifts to Meijer customers – with shopping carts ranging from $150 to upwards of $1,200 in value – along with a mixture of emotions that spurred tears, hugs and even speechlessness from very happy customers. For some customers, the surprise renewed hope in the true meaning of the holiday season; others were thankful for the generosity during a time that can be quite stressful.
Meijer released a video today that showcases how the retailer surprised its customers before Thanksgiving. In most cases, the store director revealed the gift upon checkout, but Hank Meijer, Co-Chairman Doug Meijer, and Meijer President Rick Keyes also helped express thanks.
"We are always looking for ways to improve our customers' in-store shopping experience through the quality products we sell, the service we provide and the many ways we offer savings," Keyes said. "The Very Merry Meijer event is a fun way for us to say thank you to our customers and our team members. That is what the holidays are all about."
The Very Merry Meijer event resulted in some very happy customers, but its impact was far reaching as those customers shared a second gift from the retailer – a $100 Meijer gift card – with a charitable organization, or a family or individual in need. Stories have already been posted on the Meijer Facebook page with the hashtag #MeijerGivesThanks expressing their gratitude for the checkout surprise, and showcasing videos of them paying it forward.
"Very Merry Meijer began last year as a simple way to say thank you, but so many of our thoughtful customers saw an opportunity to pass along the generosity," Doug Meijer said. "It was so inspiring to hear those stories that we wanted to include that in our surprise this year. In all my years at Meijer, this is truly the most fun I've ever had."