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Retailers Announce Moves

Expansions, Liquidation, Union Efforts Among Developments

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Meijer plans three new supercenter openings in Michigan and Ohio over the next month.

The Michigan-based grocer has leaned into the supercenter format as a Walmart alternative. The new stores offer on-site gas stations and pharmacies, home goods, garden centers, and departments for toys, apparel, sporting goods and electronics.

Meijer operates more than 500 locations, from small express formats to supercenters, throughout the Midwest.

Walmart had their own announcement in Meijer’s back yard, as they announced a clean-energy initiative with Consumers Energy. The agreement will see the energy needs of 44 Walmart stores in Michigan shift to renewable sources.

In another Midwest development, a Trader Joe’s in Chicago has filed to unionize. If successful, they would become the fifth Trader Joe’s location in the US. The first was a Massachusetts location in 2022.

The Chicago employees plan to organize under an independent Trader Joe’s United banner, rather than as a chapter of an established union.

In the dollar store world, 99 Cents Only has begun liquidation after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware. The discount retailer has already shuttered 125 of their 371 locations and will close the remaining stores by May 31.

The Commerce, Calif.-based chain was founded in 1982, and went public in 1996. Ares Management acquired the company in 2012 for about $1.6 billion. They operated in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas.

North of the border, however, Canadian discount retailer Dollarama reported a 16 percent jump in total sales year over year, to C$5.9 billion (US $4.3 billion).

The Montreal-based chain plans an additional 60-70 new stores in Canada in 2024 after opening 65 last year.

Dollarama also owns 50.1 percent of Dollarcity, a Latin American discounter operating in Columbia, Peru, El Salvador and Guatemala. Dollarcity opened 92 new stores in 2023, bringing their total to 532 locations. They have targeted 850 locations by 2029.

In the fight between retail giants, industry website PYMNTS has introduced a weekly Walmart vs. Amazon series. Their most recent offering examines the ongoing battle between the two for healthcare spending.

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