I went on vacation, and I finally got a chance to see Meijer stores and other Wal-Marts. So, what was the prognosis?
First, let's go over a few things. I was spoiled by size by my local Walmart: 254,000 is huge, and I'll rarely get more than that.
I visited two Meijers and one Walmart Supercenter (in Marquette, MI)
The first Meijer I visited was north of Ann Arbor (en route to Flint, I believe) and was very dated. Signage was all in teal and had early-90s-type italic fonts. There were no drop ceilings, but it was still low. There wasn't even alcove shops in front, just a large window. It was the type of store that almost felt like a craft store, but the 1990s look was just enough for me to think "this needs a renovation" rather than "I wouldn't be surprised if I saw a Lisa Frank notebook around here somewhere" or "why don't they stock Nintendo 64?"
Photos coming soon.
The second Meijer I saw was much more akin to an actual hypermarket. It had alcove shops, higher ceilings, and more. It had towels and more. Unfortunately, I couldn't check the departments and Made in Whatever as well as Kmart. I do, however, have a directory.
I was disappointed that the "restaurant" was only a Starbucks Coffee, but they did have a barbershop, an actual butcher, a substantial produce section, and non-food dry goods.
The Wal-Mart Supercenter (it was branded as "Walmart", but a "Wal-Mart Supercenter" labelscar was visible) in Marquette was much better than the local one, despite being smaller. It too was an expanded Wal-Mart, and had a McDonald's (instead of a Subway), a pharmacy as an alcove shop, a portrait studio, and even an arcade. The arcade, sadly, was just a bunch of animal crane games and one of those "bubble of plastic" things. Said Wal-Mart also had some gourmet cheeses.
Finally, for the sake of completeness, the College Station Walmart directory, showing us that bigger isn't necessarily better.
Leave comments, ask questions. And another blog post will follow by tomorrow.