Despite rumors that the Meijer franchise was looking to expand to Hillsdale, a spokesperson told The Collegian on Wednesday that the Grand Rapids-based grocery store is “not currently looking to expand to the Hillsdale area.”
Hillsdale residents thought Meijer was planning to possibly build a store in Hillsdale in mid-July when a Meijer corporate jet was spotted at the Hillsdale Municipal Airport.
Residents had mixed reactions toward the idea of a Meijer in Hillsdale. Some believe the corporation could bring the jobs and economic development Hillsdale needs.
“I love the company and would love to see a Meijer in Hillsdale in the future,” senior Cassidy Splawn, who interned with the corporation, said. “Every community they go into, they touch the lives of those in the community through donation and involvement in community enhancement programs. It really is a family-owned, family-focused company and I think that culture would fit well in the Hillsdale area!”
Others, like local Casey Sullivan, disagreed.
“I have a feeling a Meijer would put a lot more people out of work than it would employ, and end up being a net negative for the community,” he said in a Facebook post. While they might not go out of business, there are a ton that would lose business and have to cut staff. You can’t just add another huge retailer to a small area and not expect it to have a major impact.”
Members of the corporate team would neither confirm nor deny the rumors, but told the Hillsdale Daily News the grocery chain was “always looking to expand.”
A public roster of the places to which Meijer plans to expand in 2017 released earlier this year did not include Hillsdale.