Saturday was a lucky day for J. and Rachel Cox. The Owensboro couple were one of 230 unsuspecting Meijer shoppers randomly chosen at the checkout to have their entire order paid for during Meijer’s Very Merry Meijer event December 10, 2016.
“We had our cart loaded up. We had Christmas presents for our kids and everything. We actually went a little over budget,” J. explained. It ended up being over $300. “But when we got to the register, the store director (Mike Nelson) walked over and said ‘this is on us.’ ”
Not only was the Cox family’s entire purchase covered, but Nelson presented them with a $100 gift card to “pay it forward” to someone in need this Christmas and gave another $100 gift card to the cashier in their lane, Catherine Demayo.
“It was overwhelming! Rachel was crying. People were clapping. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never heard of a big corporate store do anything like that before,” Cox continued. “It was a great Christmas present. Such a blessing.”
What’s even crazier is Saturday was the first time the Cox’s had shopped at Meijer. “We did our grocery shopping first, and we liked it so much I decided to go cash my check from work to do our Christmas shopping,” J. said. “So we went back, and that’s when that happened. We’ll be doing all our shopping there from now on.”
One shopper at each of the 230 Meijer locations received the same gift as part of the 2016 Very Merry Meijer event. Altogether, the event resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in gifts to Meijer customers – with shopping carts ranging from several hundred to more than $1,000 in value – along with a mixture of emotions that spurred tears, hugs, and even speechlessness from very happy customers.
“This is something the Meijer does to appreciate our customers and team members,” explained Market Director, Rob Benedum. “I’ve done what Mike Nelson (Owensboro Store Director) did on Saturday and it’s an amazing feeling. It’s a chance for us to show additional generosity, which is very meaningful this time of year when things can get so stressful sometimes.”
The impact of this year’s Very Merry Meijer event was far reaching as those customers received a second gift from the retailer – a $100 Meijer gift card – to pay it forward to a charitable organization, or a family or individual in need. Meijer is encouraging those customers to share their pay-it-forward photos and videos on its Facebook page with the hashtag #VeryMerryMeijer.
J. paid his $100 card forward by giving it his 20-year-old daughter to use on her 1-year-old baby boy.
“We strive all year long to put our customers first, and provide them with a great shopping experience through the quality products we sell, the service we provide and the many ways we offer savings,” Meijer President and CEO, Rick Keyes said in a media release. “The Very Merry Meijer event was an extra special way to show our appreciation and make the season bright. That is what the holidays are all about.”