Very Merry Meijer foots the bill for customersGrand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer randomly selected 213 customers for a big surprise at checkout. During its Very Merry Meijer event, one customer at each of the company’s 213 stores received their purchases free.

“The holidays are a time for kindness and joy, and the Very Merry Meijer event was a perfect opportunity for us to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear — our customers,” said co-chairman Hank Meijer, in a news release. “Our family has always believed that our customers don’t need us, but that we need them. That philosophy still guides us today.”

The company said the event inspired many recipients to “pay it forward” and make additional holiday donations, including buying other customers’ shopping carts.

Carts ranged from $350 to more than $1,200 in value and included groceries and other staples, in addition to gifts.