SOUTH HAVEN, MI – Meijer Inc. plans to open its 205th supercenter in South Haven on Thursday morning.
Meijer officials will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 190,000-square-foot location with local dignitaries and others in attendance.
At 1223 Phoenix St., the new store is expected to create 270 new jobs, and will feature a garden center and a 24-hour gas station. It will also feature a full-service pharmacy with a free prescription program as well as clinical services and immunizations.
The combination department store/grocery store will also provide the range of products, foods and produce that are familiar in Walker-based Meijer’s other stores, spokesman Joe Hirschmugl said. He said construction started about a year ago and the store will be the 105th Meijer location in the state of Michigan.
Meijer will not disclose, however, how much it spent to build the store and get it going, he said.
The company has stores in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky as well as Michigan. The regional retail giant has announced plans to expand into Wisconsin.
The new store was built on parcels of land that straddle the city of South Haven and South Haven Township. The land was annexed to the city, according to Kathy Wagaman, executive director of the South Haven Area Chamber of Commerce. It will be about a half-mile from a Walmart store that has been in the community since the late 1980s or early 1990s.
“It’s just a community that we wanted to be in and we were finally able to put it together and put a store there,” Hirschmugl said.
Wagaman said, “We think it will pull folks into our community from a wide region.”
She said the business should also help South Haven keep some of the discretionary spending dollars of residents and visitors in town.
“We felt that because we have so much to offer, they (visitors) will stay in our community for a while, do some other shopping, visit our beaches and other attractions,” Wagaman said. “In our estimation that might prevent local dollars from leaving our community as well.”
She said it should lessen the need for South Haven area residents to travel a half-hour to Kalamazoo, Holland or Benton Harbor to shop at Meijer.
Wagaman said the community appreciates Meijer operating “basically a local business. They’ve done an awful lot for South Haven – bringing a couple of hundred jobs to the community — and they tend to have a flare for local (products) purchasing and sourcing whenever applicable.”
As part of the ribbon cutting ceremony, Meijer intends to donate $25,000 to the South Haven High School’s Athletic Department for a new scoreboard and batting cage.