Meijer opens 2 new stores in central Indiana

Competitors say they aren't worried

WHITESTOWN, Ind. - Meijer officials cut the ribbon on two brand-new supercenters in Plainfield and Whitestown on Tuesday, but competitors said they weren’t worried.

Around 30,000 to 40,000 customers a week will grab a cart and shop the aisles at the new Meijer in Whitestown.

The area just off Interstate 65 at Anson is booming. The store will cater to the many new homes being built in the area.

"I think it's going to do great for the community with all the upcoming of the community and all the factories. I mean, this is a great place to build, right off I-65. It's a fantastic location. It's going to be great," shopper Kendra Hall said.

The nearly 200,000 square-foot store boasts produce right up front and expanded offerings in the deli, meat and bakery departments.

Owners are excited to be expanding throughout Indiana and in a booming Boone County.

"The whole surrounding area looks great. If we think about what we sell, a family needing to fill their refrigerator, but also to take care of their yard and maintain their home, it's really a sweet spot for us. So the neighborhood feels right," co-owner Hank Meijer said.

Kroger officials said they aren’t worried about the new competition.

"We've survived in an intensely competitive industry for 131 years. That gives you the long-term perspective, literally decades before any of the other competitors existed," Kroger spokesman John Elliot said.

Kroger's growth in central Indiana has been slow and steady. They're expanding and building new Marketplace stores across the area that will add jobs and cater to their customers' specific needs.

"Since 2008 and the economic downturn, when our competitors stopped or slowed their store investments, Kroger has actually increased our store investments in stores each year since -- $127 million in stores just in this area in the five years after '08," Elliot said.

Marsh Supermarkets are growing too, updating many stores and opening a new downtown location on Thursday.

Marsh officials released the following statement Tuesday:

"Our approach is very different from the big-box stores and we compete very effectively by operating stores where quality, variety, value and service are top priorities."

Meijer will open a third supercenter in West Lafayette in June, which will bring 270 jobs to the store.

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