Meijer Opens Condensed Store Concept That Is ‘Convenient by Design’

Also, Au Bon Pain introduces a new store design that focuses on convenience.

September 08, 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Midwest grocer Meijer is introducing a new condensed format grocery store, opening two locations in Southeast Michigan. The concept is called Meijer Grocery, and according to the company, the stores “will provide convenience for customers who are looking for a simplified shopping experience, while providing communities easier access to fresher foods.”

The concept is the retailer's latest since first introducing the neighborhood market small format concept in August 2018 with the opening of Bridge Street Market on Grand Rapids' west side.

Meijer Grocery stores are “convenient by design,” ranging from 75,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet and will include basic grocery departments in a condensed, quick-to-navigate footprint. The parking lot will wrap around a singular corner entrance to maximize the number of parking spaces near the door.

"We're excited to provide our customers with yet another way to shop," said Don Sanderson, group vice president of foods at Meijer. "This new concept store will not only provide our customers with everything they need on their weekly shopping trip, but also a quick and easy solution for when they realize they left the key ingredient off their list while cooking dinner."

Meanwhile, Au Bon Pain is introducing a new store design that builds on the customer demand for convenience and off-premise purchases, according to Au Bon Pain’s parent company Ampex Brands.

“Enhancing the look of our locations is essential to our ‘Back to Bright’ campaign,” said Au Bon Pain President Ericka Garza in a statement. “We set out to build on our promise to serve delicious food in a friendly, fast and clean environment and create an exceptional guest experience. The Cafe of the Future visually represents our brand’s purpose.”

The new design includes an ordering station, a self-serve bakery and to-go areas aimed to add efficiency for customers that want to “get in and out.”

“Our new cafes give on-the-go guests what they crave and deserve—handcrafted, delicious food, fast—while offering a lovely space for guests that want to stay for a bit,” said Garza.

Au Bon Pain recently launched a grab-and-go kiosk design, catering to the off-premise customer, and the first kiosk opened last year in Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York.

Ampex Brands purchased Au Bon Pain from Panera Bread in 2021 and operates 7-Eleven locations and is a Yum Brands franchisee.