Frederik Meijer, chairman emeritus of Meijer, Inc., has passed away at 91. Meijer Inc, the family-owned company that operates approximate 200 stores in five Midwestern states, was founded by his father, Hendrik Meijer, in 1934.
By the time the company opened its second store in 1942, Meijer was part of the business. In 1962, the company opened its first combination grocery-general merchandise store, which it called Thrifty Acres. "Thrifty Acres could have bankrupted us," Meijer told SN in 2000. "It was close to being a mistake, but it wasn't."
What saved it, the company explained, was the decision to kick out the lessees running the nonfood sections and operate the entire store with its own personnel. Meijer, who became chairman in 1978, retired from an active role in the business in 1990, naming his sons Hank and Doug Meijer co-chairmen.