Michigan-based grocery chain Meijer will no longer allow the placement of free publications in its stores effective March 1.
Lansing’s City Pulse, which has been paying $280 per month for the rack space, stands to lose 15 percent of its total distribution as a result of the decision:
Meijer officials have not commented. Two sources have told City Pulse that the racks are “messy” and a “cost of labor” issue, explaining that Meijer does not want employees picking up discarded publications at the store.
Lansing State Journal columnist John Schneider responds:
Are you buying that? Here’s a thought: Some of the free publications push the envelope of so-called community standards now and then. Could Meijer be caving in to customer complaints? If so, what about the scandal sheets at the registers?
“Meijer has become a very important hub of community information,” said publisher Berl Schwartz, pointing out that virtually all of the city’s public notices appear in City Pulse.
He’s urging readers to contact their local stores to express concern about the decision.