Sandy, the Meijer Pony – is She Finally Back?
I was in Meijer the other day when I did a double-take. Wait a minute...Sandy the Pony is back on the floor! I hadn't seen Sandy for...well, quite a few months. And she's still only a penny.
In spring 2020, thanks to COVID, Meijer made some radical chnages...one of them was shutting down and removing all the Sandys in every location. But now she seems to be back.
Sandy the Pony made her debut in Meijer stores back in 1962 and has been a favorite of kids – and adults – ever since. Yes, adults would climb on for a picture.
The cost? Just a penny. It might seem silly to some, but to see the look of pure joy on a little 2-3 year old child's face as he/she gently bounces around on Sandy's back is worth MUCH more than one cent.
This mechanical pony looks like it escaped from a TV cowboy western: bridle, reins, saddle, stirrups...yup – any kid could be a cowboy/cowgirl for just a penny.
There are those who think, “what's the point? It's only a penny! How does it make money?” It's not the money that's important...it's an important connection with customers and a fond piece of local Michigan history. Sure, there are 'other' mechanical ponies in other stores, but some of those are ten cents, others five cents...but Sandy? Still just one cent.
When Frederik Meijer first found Sandy, the price of ten cents was painted onto the horse. Back then, Meijer realized ten cents was a bit much for a pony ride – besides, he was more interested in making kids happy, and not having their parents deny them a ride due to the price. So he reduced the cost to one penny, where it has remained ever since. Now, parents and even grandparents who rode Sandy as a kid are enjoying seeing their kids & grandkids riding Sandy.
There are approximately 500 Sandys in Meijer locations across five separate states.
We can only hope that Sandy stays where she is and won't have to be removed again...that would be a shame.
Sandy the Mechanical Meijer Pony
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