WALKER — Supercenter retailer Meijer Inc. will close two suburban Chicago-area stores in the coming months, according to multiple news reports.
The stores set to close — located in Berwyn and Melrose Park, Ill., according to a report in the Chicago Tribune — are both examples of the Walker-based retailer’s attempts at smaller format stores of around 90,000 square feet. The locations opened in 2012 and 2011, respectively, according to news reports.
The stores closings are expected to affect around 300 Meijer employees, although some have found jobs at other Chicago area stores, according to news reports.
Reports from Chicago-area news outlets cited announcements from the company, but those statements could not be immediately confirmed by MiBiz.
Representatives from Meijer did not immediately respond to requests for comment as this report was published.
However, a company spokesperson told the Tribune that the two stores had been underperforming compared to its typical larger-format stores.
News that the retailer will shutter two smaller-format stores comes as Meijer pushes ahead with plans for a 30,000-square-foot store on Bridge Street NW in Grand Rapids’ west side neighborhood.
While the company’s typical big-box supercenters cover approximately 200,000 square feet,
Meijer said last year that it intends to be part of large scale urban redevelopment proposed by Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction Company Inc. and various other partners for the corner of Bridge Street and Seward Avenue.
It’s unclear how Meijer will operate in a smaller urban-format store on the west side.
However, a Meijer subsidiary started and owns the growing Downers Grove, Ill.-based Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market brand of specialty grocery stores, as MiBiz exclusively reported last October. Most Fresh Thyme stores are about 30,000 square feet. Most sources at the time said it appeared Meijer created the skunkworks Fresh Thyme brand to break into the specialty grocery niche at smaller stores.