AVON — It appears Meijer is still coming to Avon, but the store will be smaller than what was originally proposed two years ago.
On Wednesday night, representatives from Meijer appeared before the Avon Planning Commission with an amended final development plan for the store, which they plan to open in May 2019.
“At senior leadership’s request, we had a deep-dive into analyzing what store works best for Meijer for the future,” Meijer real estate manager Crisman Jones said. “Once we analyzed all that data — sales, labor, product turn, inventory, cost per square foot, sales per square foot, infrared heat maps of the sales floor to look at what products sell the quickest and what customers want — the conclusion of that was that our store of the future should be 157,000 square feet.”
The original plan submitted by Meijer called for a 192,000-square-foot store. Jones said the family-owned company, based in Michigan, has 22 of the prototype smaller stores already.
“Our executives have decided that all of our 2019 stores will be built with this format, so that’s why we’re back before you tonight,” Jones said. “We’ve reduced the store from 192,000 square feet to 157,000 square feet.”
The width of the store has shrunk, but the depth of it has remained the same, Jones said. The new design has eliminated a truck dock, but the grocery, garden center and some other areas have remained the same size as the original design.
“There’s some areas of the store that we sacrificed to keep the grocery, pharmacy and beauty and health the same size,” Jones said. “It’s still a large store. We just feel this is the way to go.”
Jones said the smaller store will carry the same products the bigger store carries.
In addition to the 157,253-square-foot store, the development plan calls for a 3,376-square-foot convenience store and gas station. The store would be at 1810 Nagel Road.
Jones said the smaller building means there will be some extra land on the 23-acre property the company purchased in November 2015. The company may use the open land as two future outparcels, but Jones said that is “100 percent speculative” at the moment.
Jones said construction of the store would begin in spring 2018 and would cost about $26 million.
The store would operate with about 70 employees a shift, with three shifts a day. Jones said whether the jobs are part time or full time depends on the labor market.
The planning commission unanimously approved the development plan, 4-0, contingent on a review by the city’s engineering department.
Meijer operates 230 in six states. The company first came to Ohio in the mid-1980s and has 40 stores in the state.
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