Mass-merchandise retailer Meijer has unveiled what it sees as the convenience-store concept of the future with a new 5,500-square-foot store that, along with a focus on fresh, will be its first gas station to include a separate full-service Starbucks.
Boasting a large seating area with free Wi-Fi and phone-charging stations, the store will be located next to Meijer's Grand Rapids, Mich., headquarters. Its expanded assortment of fresh-prepared foods include daily-prepared sushi; locally prepared donuts delivered daily; fresh produce; protein-based snacks, wraps, fruit and organic items; grab-and-go meals made locally by Superior Foods; and such hot selections as handcrafted pizzas and chicken tenders.
Patrons also can enjoy a self-serve coffee station and a large fountain bar with cold-brew coffee, frozen coffee beverages and F'real Shakes. Other features include a beer cave with popular craft and national brews, as well as an expansive cold and on-shelf wine assortment.
"We are proud to continue to roll out what we see as the future of convenience for our gas station patrons," said Adam Whitney, VP of gas stations and convenience stores for Meijer. "We believe our customers will appreciate the ease and accessibility that the new design offers and the expanded assortment of freshly-made options that reflects their desire for healthier snacks."
The new gas station includes 18 fuel pumps, a 50 percent increase over the retailer's previous gas station format. The fuel pumps feature an expanded pumping capacity, with several including diesel and an E85 selection to accommodate flex fuel vehicles.
All pumps are equipped with "Fast Tap" technology for fast and secure payment on the go. The location will also offer Tesla and other electric car-charging stations set to open later this year.
The new store follows many of the design elements featured in the new convenience store and gas station format, which opened at the company's Cascade store in 2016. In the coming months, Starbucks will open a full-service location, which includes drive-thru service, a first for a Meijer stand-alone convenience store.
Meijer operates more than 240 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. It also has 200-plus gas stations and convenience stores across the footprint. It is No. 12 on Progressive Grocer's 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.