DANVILLE — Meijer and city officials will celebrate Meijer’s grand opening Thursday.
The store at 3649 N. Vermilion St. opens to the public at 7 a.m. Thursday, with an official ceremony starting at 9:30 a.m. and the ribbon cutting occurring at 10 a.m. Thursday. Refreshments will be served at the ceremony. The ribbon cutting will have Meijer leadership and other officials in attendance, according to Meijer Public Relations Manager Joe Hirschmugl.
The store will be open 24 hours a day starting after the approximately 7 a.m. Thursday opening. Store Manager Don Mettler expects the store to open between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. Thursday.
Grand opening customer giveaways start on Sunday with daily giveaways to the first 100 customers each day through Nov. 15.
Mettler said he’s gotten a lot of positive feedback from the community so far. Employees have seen people stop by daily during the last couple weeks thinking the store has opened already.
Final training and stocking continues with the store. The produce and deli departments will be stocked last for the freshest items, according to Hirschmugl.
Meijer has a wide variety of groceries including a large produce section and meat offerings, pet items, electronics, toys, clothing, seasonal items and other goods.
“We are opening with a holiday theme,” Mettler said.
“It’s a new fresh look,” he said about the store.
The store has several self-scan check-out lanes, some with longer conveyor belts.
Mettler said it’s been a long six weeks to get the store open, with a 24-hour-seven-day-a-week crew. He and the employees are excited about the store opening.
Mettler encourages the public to check out the store.
This is another great week for the city, according to Mayor Scott Eisenhauer.
“Meijer’s opening not only brings new and expanded retail opportunities for our area shoppers, but also much-needed job creation. Beyond that, I am also thrilled about Meijer’s long-standing history of being engaged in the local communities and the charitable contributions they make to those communities. Without a doubt, Danville residents, as well as our surrounding areas, are quite anxious for this week’s grand opening, and I join them in their excitement,” he said in an emailed statement.
Added Vermilion Advantage President and CEO Vicki Haugen, “this project is particularly gratifying to me because of all of the real estate and physical site challenges that were involved and, therefore, the extent of cooperation that had to be forged on several fronts to make the project a reality.”
“The company has a long-standing reputation for quality products and service. This alone makes them a fabulous new addition to our retail base. Likewise their history and passion for community involvement is as important to our area as the retail dollars they will generate and the employment they have created. Like the other openings of the last few months, quality and choice are two key variables to having a thriving retail base. The Meijer opening is the crowning jewel to top off a fantastic two years for the Vermilion County retail trade area,” Haugen stated also through email.
The 190,000-square-foot store has about 280 employees ranging from clerks and cake decorators to customer service, cashiers, receiving and meat-cutters.
Meijer, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer, operates 203 super centers and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
Haugen previously said by the time Meijer and Jimmy John’s opens — which opened Tuesday — the community will have added more than 500,000 square feet of new retail space to the area with retail sales potential of more than $115 million and around 450 new job opportunities.
Haugen said residents should be able to stay in the area for their holiday shopping.