July 16, 2012, 1:59 PM

Meijer.com launches a holiday contest for toy makers

The retail chain will enable two small U.S. companies to sell their products on Meijer.com.

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Midwestern retail chain Meijer Inc. is offering fledgling toy makers a chance to sell their products exclusively on its e-commerce site.

The Meijer Next Great Toymaker contest is open to U.S. toy companies with 50 employees or less with products suitable for 1- to 8-year-olds. Winners will be chosen by a panel of Meijer judges and Meijer Facebook fans can vote for their favorite toy from Aug. 29 to Sept. 4 on the retailer’s Facebook page. Entries will be judged on uniqueness, educational relevance, creativity and quality, the retailer says. Two winners will be announced on Sept. 7 and winning toys will be available on Meijer.com beginning Nov. 21 for at least six months.

“This contest allows us to offer something exclusive to Meijer.com shoppers while supporting small businesses here in the U.S., something we know is important to our customers,” says Liwanag Ojala, vice president of e-commerce for the retailer, which is No. 298 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

A grocery and mass merchandise retail chain based in the Midwest, Meijer brought in an Internet Retailer-estimated $40.6 million in online sales in 2011, a 32.7% increase from $30.6 in 2010. The merchant operates more than 200 bricks-and-mortar stores, e-commerce and m-commerce sites, and four mobile apps.

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