The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based 24-hour retailer sent an e-mail blast with the headline "More of what you're shopping for" to its opt-in customer list members on Sunday alerting them to the site's new functionality and offering a discount code. Stacie Behler, Meijer vice president/corporate communications and public affairs, declined to comment on the retailer's marketing plans to promote the site.
An FAQ there details that Meijer.com "now features thousands of items available for purchase online, including items not available in stores" whereas the previous Meijer.com "was just a hub for information and some Meijer services."
Meijer.com's preview feature allows users to view product images and descriptions without having to load a new page. The site also features a "persistent" shopping cart and guided search feature.
"We have more cool features, too, like the ability to order digital prints online, Meijer gas alert text messages that hit your cell when gas prices are about to go up, Meijer Connect, and Aisle Zero Labs, our own little technology-twisting mad-scientist playground featuring new ideas from the Meijer.com staff that are still in development," according to the Meijer.com FAQ.
The change in Meijer's business model comes as reports reveal that a Wal-Mart initiative in which consumers buy items from the Web site and then have the items delivered to their local stores has surpassed the company's expectations, with about a third of all online sales occurring through this program. However, the Meijer.com site does not offer this feature.
The privately owned retailer, founded in 1934, operates 176 stores in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky. Supermarket News ranked Meijer No. 12 in the 2007 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2006 fiscal year estimated sales of $13.2 billion.