This solution makes a difference as shoppers in Meijer stores in the Midwest are better able to find handweights and fitness products to help them stick to their New Years resolutions.
“Millions of people suddenly stayed home looking for ways to get moving. This created a demand that all retailers were trying to meet,” he said Scott Schuette, Buyer for team sports and fitness for Meijer. “We recognize that finding the right local partners is key to shortening our supply chain and helping customers find all of the accessories they need for their home fitness solutions.”
Schuette began calling local foundries in the state with the skills and found Great Lakes Castings in Ludington as a perfect candidate for making hand weights for the Meijer Active brand. Planning with the 75-year-old company began in the spring and they were quickly able to construct 3D mold patterns, source local materials, and start casting test designs Northern Michigan Foundry.
By August, the partnership added Grand Haven Power Coating to the finishing process and ran a pilot project in 14 stores in the Grand Rapids area. The entire inventory of more than 500 cast iron hand weights was sold out within 10 days. The decision to expedite the program, with gyms in most states struggling to stay open due to the ongoing pandemic, allowed Great Lakes Casting and Grand Haven Power Coating to expand into three shifts to keep the production schedule for an ever-increasing distribution from Meijer Active to reach handweights to more stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
“This partnership has opened up a new way for us to capitalize on opportunities by enhancing our capabilities to meet the reshoring needs of companies that traditionally work with outside countries The United States, “President and CEO of Great Lakes Castings Rob Killips said. “The average consumer wouldn’t see where our castings are used. That’s why we’re incredibly proud to develop a product that so many people can use.”
Killips says that “Made in Michigan“The expansion includes product sourcing of all sand used for the molds that comes from a processing facility in MuskegonAll of the steel cast for Meijer Active’s handweights comes from various regional scrap suppliers. The Great Lakes Casting Company is also one of the first foundries in The United States Use recycled products and reuse the sand to reduce waste streams.
In addition to yoga mats, resistance bands, exercise belts, medicine balls and a whole range of fitness items that saw unprecedented growth in the past year, the complete line of Meijer Active handweights is now available in Meijer Supercenters in sizes 10, 15, 20 – and 25 – Pound versions and are expected to continue to be hot sellers. In 2020, the retailer sold nearly 1.5 million fitness accessories.
“Our teams have worked tirelessly to create an incredibly short supply chain, and that makes a real difference in filling the shelves with fitness equipment,” said Schuette. “This is just another example of how being a good neighbor and finding local partnerships can benefit communities across the Midwest Michigan a better place to work, live, and – in this case – exercise. “
About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Me.Retailers based in 256 super centers and grocery stores Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Meijer has been privately and family owned since 1934. He pioneered the “one-stop-shopping” concept and over the years has grown into expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, full clothing departments, pet departments and garden centers, toys and electronics. More information about Meijer can be found at www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @ twitter.com / Meijer and @ twitter.com / MeijerPR or become a fan of www.facebook.com/meijer.