Midwest supermarket chain Meijer may be best known for its grocery selection, but the company has recently transitioned into fashion as well. Falls Creek is one of the store's key in-house brands, and Meijer has used its introduction to help bridge the gap between the retailer and other top discount stores like Target. Dutch immigrant Hendrik Meijer founded his company in Greenville, Michigan, in 1934. Meijer grew into a chain across Michigan within its first few decades. Though the company's original stores were solely supermarkets, Meijer has been credited with innovating the first "hypermarkets" in the 1960s--a move that was quickly copied by major discount retailers like Walmart.
More recently, Meijer has started to expand beyond Michigan (though about half of its 200 stores are still located in the state's Lower Peninsula). Today, you'll find locations in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Ohio, with growth to Wisconsin on the horizon. The retailer is still family-owned and operated, and it has been consistently ranked among the top private companies in the country. The decision to start pushing Meijer's exclusive lines is relatively recent, and executives hope that it will help continue to grow the company as brands like Falls Creek start to become better known.
The clothing selections available from the Falls Creek brand are intentionally basic. Meijer wants to appeal to as wide a range of customers as possible with its exclusive lines, so most designs are classic and traditional. For babies, you'll find options like graphic tees, polos, bodysuits, skirts, dresses, and overalls. Outerwear is also a major component of the brand, and jackets range from light fleeces to heavy winter coats. Footwear selections for infants and toddlers include boots, sneakers, and slippers.
Falls Creek kids' clothing encompasses standard bottoms like jeans, shorts, skirts, and capris. Boys' tops include thermals, graphic tees, sweatshirts, and hoodies, while girls can also choose among more fashionable blouses and tanks. The kids' outerwear selection also covers a wide range, with ski jackets and puffer coats keeping tots warm on even the coldest Midwest days. The brand's shoes for girls are among its most kid-friendly accessories, and Falls Creek ballet flats, Mary Janes, sandals, and boots are designed to be cute and fun. Boys' shoes are more geared toward function than style. The line includes hearty hiking shoes for the summer and heavy-duty boots for the winter.
Something about the Falls Creek line just screams that it's manufactured for Midwest consumers. The adherence to traditional styles and the emphasis on cold weather gear (the brand is headquartered in Michigan after all) ensure that its clothes aren't likely to offend anyone. Some shoppers are likely to find the safe choices to be a little boring, but others will love the fact that they can dress their children up in basic apparel that has been built to last. There's a good chance that Falls Creek is going to undergo some changes over the next few years, as Meijer has hinted that it wants to start making the brand a little more fashionable. Based on the brand's current trends, we give Falls Creek 4 out of 5 stars.