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Meijer Predicts Online Holiday Sales Will Double in 2010

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Citing a host of new incentives, conveniences and promotions, coupled with an increasing national awareness, the Midwest supercenter chain Meijer announced Monday that it expects its online sales to double this holiday season, beginning with next week’s “Cyber Monday.”

The company’s e-commerce division predicts that a combination of an expanded selection of items, improved site navigation, attractive “mouse-buster” deals, and free shipping on thousands of items will help it shatter last year’s sales record.  The site, www.meijer.com, is expected to handle more than 30 percent of its annual transactions between “Cyber Monday” and Christmas.

“We’ve implemented a number of steps that translate directly into more deals for customers, including eliminating shipping costs for thousands of items, introducing fun promotions, and overhauling the design of the site to make it easier to find products and get answers to any questions you might have,” said Dawn Bronkema, a director of e-commerce marketing at Meijer.  “Given the tough economy we’re in, it’s a bold prediction to say you’ll double sales, but it’s one that we feel confident in making.”

To help achieve its goal, the Grand Rapids-based retailer announced that it would begin offering free shipping and free returns on any order priced at $50 or more, effective immediately. In addition, it has lowered its shipping rates to as little as $2.95 for orders weighing less than one pound.

“Our free shipping is certainly attractive to shoppers, but we’ve worked hard to improve the overall online experience, namely redesigning the site to make it easier for users to shop and check-out with a regular computer or even a smart phone,” Bronkema said.

Furthermore, the site remains fresh by offering a daily “Big Steal” promotion, which is a hot product offered at the lowest online price available; a weekly holiday game called “The Holiday Dash” (www.meijerholidaygames.com/), where users have fun shopping while entering to win weekly prizes; and an online “Wish List” that allows shoppers to update and share their preferred holiday items with friends and family online.

Meijer, which pioneered the supercenter concept nearly 50 years ago, operates 195 stores throughout Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. It started its online retailing operation three years ago.

Fueling much of its online growth is the fact that Meijer is finding e-commerce success far from its Midwest stores. The retailer says that its online sales continue to surge in California and the Southeast, and sales from outside its five-state footprint now account for more than one-half of all online transactions.

“We’ve always felt that if you offer quality product at a great price in a manner that is easy and hassle-free to the shopper, eventually you’ll see that the word will get out, and that is what’s happening with us across the country,” Bronkema said.

Meijer also points to its liberal return policy — which includes free return shipping and free returns to local stores — and its expanded assortment of online groceries, and pet and baby supplies as key reasons for the continued increase in traffic to the site and its ability to attract new shoppers across the country.

But what most people look for beginning “Cyber Monday” are deals, and Meijer will be offering a variety of attractive offers next Monday, including:

* A microfiber recliner for $179.99 (save $220)
* A Samsung 52″ HDTV (delivery included) for $1,099.99
* An HP Deskjet All-in-One Color Printer for $69.99 (save $110)
* A Storkcraft 4-in-1 crib-bed for $199.99 (save $100 and get a free rocking horse valued at $29.99)
* 20 percent off all Ed Hardy bags and backpacks, and 40 percent off Geneva Watches

All of Meijer’s online product specials can be found on its “secret deal site” at www.MeijerOnlineDeals.com.

Meijer operates 195 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. More at www.meijer.com.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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