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Meijer Named HomeWorld’s 2013 Retail Champion

Meijer is the 2013 HomeWorld Business Retail Champion. Meijer is featured in the May 13 edition of HomeWorld Business.

The magazine includes an exclusive interview with Shawn Sinicrope, Meijer’s vp/hard home/soft home/garden/floral/seasonal, as well as category-by-category profiles of Meijer’s housewares merchandising initiatives.

Sinicrope told HomeWorld Business Meijer intends to be a lifestyle resource for its customers, one that provides plentiful choice in key home categories that they can use to make satisfying domestic improvements.

To that end, Meijer continues to fine-tune its merchandising, revisiting cookware and considering new approaches to tabletop, for example.

Sinicrope said the regional supercenter operator, with a market area that includes Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and northern Kentucky, is boosting core home and housewares segments by leveraging its grocery operation at a time when consumers are cooking at home more often.

Yet, Meijer won’t try to be all things to all people. The retailer also plans to leverage knowledge of its customers and what they expect from the company to develop assortments that include a range of merchandise reflecting the diversity of consumers drawn to its stores.

The food operation at Meijer has a major effect on the home department and the store in general. In an exception from later arriving supercenters, such as those from Walmart, Kmart and Target, Meijer food operations are not tailored for a narrow economic or social demographic. Meijer has been a primary grocery provider for the majority of markets it has served going back, in some cases, to its inception over 80 years ago. Not unlike established mainline supermarkets, Meijer’s grocery operations take broadly from their immediate market areas and, given the emphasis on fresh food, gourmet prepared items and wine, can attract affluent consumers.

Newness and color also are important in Meijer’s home operation and not just in segments immediately associated with food. Newness can be associated with style or with substance. In storage for instance, Meijer offers products that tie into a number of important departments beyond food including DIY, automotive and, with wicker and other decorative products, furnishings.

Sinicrope said category dominance is a critical consideration, as given Meijer’s broad demographic draw. As a result, the retailer has to carry a wide range of products in those categories that differentiate it from rivals.  So the product assortment Meijer offers must consist, in the case of cookware, of everything from aluminum at opening pricepoints to hard anodized, with the retailer emphasizing the upper end of its range with brands such as the new, exclusive Cooking with Calphalon label launching in June.

See the May 13 edition of HomeWorld Business for complete coverage of Meijer: HomeWorld’s 2013 Retail Champion.