Briaja Lyons arranges the bright yellow construction helmets in three rows of six until they spread across and fill the table. It’s the fourth time the greeter at our Portage, Mich. store has replenished the table with the popular giveaways during her shift and knows it won’t be her last.
“Handing helmets out makes afternoons fun, especially with all of the work going on,” she said, offering the little plastic helmets to a trio of kids as their parent checks the shopping list. “Once school gets out, we’re really busy with families shopping for dinner, so they disappear fast if I don’t pay attention.”
Giving away construction helmets? To kids? Yes. This is what we do when we remodel our stores.
Though not large in size, these plastic helmets represent more than their miniature size lets on. The child-size plastic hard hats signify the extensive redesign one of our busiest stores in the Kalamazoo area is undergoing.
“Offering a construction helmet to children shopping with their parents tells families we’re all in this together while shopping our store during the various phases of the remodel process,” Store Director Kelly Porter said.
In fact, they’re a hallmark of our store remodel process. Since we began handing out costume hard hats at our stores undergoing changes in 2007, our team members have shared more than 1 million with children in communities across the Midwest.
Kelly added that the table full of yellow helmets also provides a few moments for parents to review the wayfinding map nearby, which helps them locate departments and items temporarily displaced by the remodel project.
While the tiny helmets are meant to be a light-hearted way to bring smiles, they represent some exciting changes coming to her store. Kelly’s supercenter on Westnedge Ave. in Portage was built in 1964, so the remodel project there is extensive and goes beyond the smaller scale improvements made over the years.
“When they walk in later this year, it will be like walking into a brand-new store,” Kelly said. “This community has invested a lot in us, so this is another way we invest in the community. Our customers have been loyal to us for decades and call it their Meijer, so we want everyone to know we are not going anywhere.”