Food Service & Agriculture, Marketing, PR & Advertising, and Retail

Retailer surprises shoppers with 'Very Merry' campaign

December 19, 2014
| By Pat Evans |
TAGS Meijer
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Retailer surprises shoppers with 'Very Merry' campaign
J.K. Symancyk, president of Meijer, surprises customers by telling them Meijer would like to pay for all the items in their shopping cart as part of its Verry Merry Meijer campaign. Photo via

More than 200 shoppers recently received a big holiday surprise at the checkout lane.

On Dec. 13, Meijer chose one customer at each of its 213 stores across the Midwest as part of its "Very Merry Meijer" campaign.

The selected customer received their purchases for free. The carts selected ranged from $350 to $1,200 in value, full of holiday gifts and everyday groceries.

"The holidays are a time for kindness and joy, and the 'Very Merry Meijer' event was a perfect opportunity for us to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear: our customers," said Hank Meijer, co-chairman, Meijer. “Our family has always believed that our customers don't need us, but that we need them. That philosophy still guides us today. We are very thankful for our customers and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Merry Christmas.”

Many of the transactions were performed by the various store directors, but Hank Meijer, his brother, Doug Meijer, and Meijer President J.K. Symancyk also all played Santa in the surprise checkouts.

"We know the holidays can be a stressful time of year for many reasons," Doug Meijer said. "But this is also the time of year that is full of joy and laughter. The Meijer team members and I who played Santa may have been more excited before, during and after our surprises than the recipients. That's how much fun we had spreading Christmas cheer.”

A breakdown of the selected parties showed the diversity of families chosen. Some customers said they planned to spread the goodwill by making additional donations or buying another customer’s cart. Fifteen of those selected said they were buying gifts for a local charity.

Several of the randomly selected customers were first-time Meijer visitors. Others have been heading to the store for more than 40 years.

Some of the chosen customers had a parent out of work or recovering from surgery.

In the end, the event just helped make the holidays a little merrier for a few hundred people, Symancyk said.

“The 'Very Merry Meijer' event was our fun way of making the season bright for our customers," Symancyk said. "That is what the holidays are all about — simple acts of kindness.”

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