Less than two years after launching its first new format store in the Chicago market, Meijer is delivering another new concept to its Chicago-area customers as it prepares to open Meijer Marketplace, a more localized grocery store in Melrose Park.

"Meijer Marketplace is a dramatic step for us as we work toward bringing everything that's great about Meijer to a more diverse group of customers," said Hank Meijer, Co-Chairman and CEO of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. "The Chicago market continues to be a very important growth area for us, and our new Meijer Marketplace concept will bring yet another unique offering to our Chicago-area customers."

At 96,000 square feet, Meijer Marketplace will be about half the size of Meijer's largest supercenters. However, Meijer planners have worked to ensure the store has the benefits of larger Meijer stores, in essence offering a "mini" supercenter concept that provides local customers with a tailored grocery offering along with a broad variety of general merchandise items.

Much of the focus on the new store in Melrose Park will be on providing a total grocery shopping experience with fresh quality meats and produce, as well as a wide variety of deli, bakery and pantry items. The new Meijer store will include a targeted focus on Hispanic and Italian foods, providing a new shopping option for the ethnically-diverse community nearby.

The smaller-format store will offer the Melrose Park community the "Higher Standards and Lower Prices" that Meijer customers have come to expect, featuring national and Meijer own brand grocery items, along with a full-service pharmacy offering a variety of national and Meijer brand health and beauty products.

Meijer opened its first Chicago-area store in Bolingbrook in 1999. Meijer currently has 13 stores in the Chicago area ranging in size from full supercenters to smaller, grocery focused stores in Niles and Orland Park. Meijer employs nearly 3,000 team members in the Chicago area, with more than 150 new jobs created by the opening of the new Melrose Park store.

Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 196 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.