John Spaulding_150

Category C: (200+ Stores)

John Spaulding

Meijer Company
Marquette, Mich.

If you do the math, John Spaulding has operated six different stores and worked at 10 Meijer locations throughout his 42-year career. It all adds up to a stellar reputation and a proven formula for store manager success.

As the director of a store in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that he opened in 2018, Spaulding has focused on locality as a part of the equation. From a product assortment standpoint, he strives to bring in local produce to create a hometown, almost farmers market-like feel, to his produce department.

On a human resources level, he leverages local talent whenever possible. Given that Spaulding started with Meijer as a young man in the bottle room, he is a mentor who knows and espouses the benefits of moving up in the company and making it a successful career. More than 60 team members at his current store have expressed interest in growing with Meijer and five leaders who worked under him over the years have been promoted to store director roles. A competitor at heart, he is also passionate about communicating goals – sometimes holding up to three huddles a day – and inspiring his team to personally affect the overall customer experience and improve store results.

Spaulding’s belief in keeping things close is likewise reflected in his strong community outreach programs. The United Way Campaign he personally spearheaded raised more than $15,500 in 2019 and more than $10,000 in a difficult pandemic year that impacted many customers’ and residents’ incomes. A staunch supporter of nearby Northern Michigan University, he donated trucks and trailers to the school’s CDL program and provided healthy snacks for students and student-athletes. Additionally, in 2018, he launched a community Shop with a Hero program to support foster care families.

The sum of his whole approach in 2020 is a 27% sales increase and a first-place ranking within the western Meijer region for controlling shrink. In January 2021, he received the Fred Meijer Award for “demonstrating the company values of humility, generosity and a passion for serving others.”

“My store director was awarded with the most prestigious Fred Meijer legacy award. He is just the second person to ever win this award and he dedicated this to the teams he has had the pleasure to lead over the years. It was a very inspiring and motivating moment. I am glad that I have had the pleasure to work under John Spaulding because he is a great example of the leader I strive to be.” --Nathan Puetz, team member, Meijer