GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2016-Aug-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Midwest retailer Meijer is getting ready to welcome an estimated 40,000 incoming college freshmen as they head to campus this fall during widely-popular shopping parties dubbed “Meijer Mania.”
The annual Back-to-College events celebrate incoming students in style during a night of fun – complete with a DJ, photo booth and interactive contests – while helping them collect their last-minute dorm and classroom essentials. The retailer kicks off the Meijer Mania events this week and will host a total 22 events at 20 colleges across the Midwest through early September.
“Our Meijer Mania events provide new students the opportunity to shop for their first living spaces away from home and share a fun-filled bonding experience with classmates,” said Cathy Cooper, senior director of promotions and sponsorships at Meijer. “We are pleased to partner with so many colleges and universities to help ease the transition of moving into a new living environment for these students.”
Meijer began throwing in-store parties for incoming college freshmen more than 10 years ago to give students a chance to get to know their peers in a fun atmosphere, and introduce the Meijer brand to those who may not have grown up shopping at the Midwest supercenter – some of whom may learn how to pronounce the retailer’s name for the first time, Cooper said.
In total, an estimated 40,000 students – about 1,700 freshmen per event – will bus from campus to their local Meijer store for a night of festivities. Typically, a DJ will get the crowd pumped up while students participate in interactive games and contests, snap pictures in the photo booth, and stock their carts with snacks and school supplies. Meijer also provides samples and coupons, and occasionally hosts big-ticket giveaways.
One of retail’s leading shopping seasons, Back-to-School and College is a $75 billion industry, according to the National Retail Federation. Meijer Mania events help spread out the spending during a time when college students and their families are busy preparing for the school year.
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 230 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings.