The City Pulse drops off at least 3,000 papers to local Meijer stores every week. That's 15 percent of its distribution, says editor and publisher Berl Schwartz. But readers won't find the City Pulse--or any other free publications--at Meijer much longer.
"I'm really disturbed that suddenly 15 percent of our readers are disenfranchised. Can they get it elsewhere? Yes. Will they get it elsewhere? We don't know," said Schwartz.
A Meijer spokesperson emailed us this statement: "Meijer made a corporate decision to remove all the racks in order to maintain a clean, consistent look in the front of our stores, which was not currently the case at most of our locations."
Lansing City Council president Brian Jeffries worries the move limits access to information.
"Everything we do in terms of business with the city that requires a notice to the public are in, in this case, the City Pulse," said Jeffries.
Meijer would not let our cameras inside, but we saw that shelves for some publications were already empty in the South Lansing store.
More than a hundred people have signed an online petition, some saying they'll stop shopping at Meijer if they can't get free papers there. In Wednesday's issue of the City Pulse, you'll find a flyer saying it's the last issue you'll get at Meijer unless you can help change the store's mind.
Jeffries also called this an economic development issue, citing ads small businesses place in some of these free publications.
The City Pulse credits Meijer stores for most of its growth over the past few years.