TRAVERSE CITY — The most valuable thing Katie Wells ever won was $2 in the lottery.
So when she found out she’d won a Meijer fashion promotion sweepstakes, she was skeptical.
“I thought it could be a scam so I called Meijer to verify,” said Wells, a Traverse City native. “I said, ‘This doesn’t happen to me. Is it real?’”
The 25-year-old bagpipes saleswoman entered the Meijer Mix & Match Sweepstakes earlier this spring. She was randomly selected from 60,400 Facebook entries as winner of the Grand Prize, a $500 “VIP” shopping spree with a Meijer fashion expert.
Five other winners each received a $100 Meijer gift card.
Wells arrived at the Traverse City Meijer store June 2 prepared to shop till she dropped. She’d left husband Brian at home to look after their child.
“We’re on a tight budget and I have a daughter, 2½, on a growth spurt,” Wells said. “So the money usually goes for her.
“I’m not a big come-to-the-store-and-spend-an-hour kind of person. So it’s a new wardrobe, fun, and everything for me.”
Meijer marketing specialist Emily Peric greeted Wells in the women’s fashion department to help with outfit selections. Peric said the retail giant recently revamped its fashions to include “trending” styles like palazzo pants and chiffon blouses, many by the same national brands found in department stores.
“I’m hoping to help her have fun and try things on, and afterwards accessorize with necklaces that make a statement and then with shoes and Gladiator sandals,” said Peric, who supports women’s fashions and accessories out of Meijer’s corporate offices in Grand Rapids.
Peric loaded Wells’ cart with dozens of separates, including white and colorful Capri pants, white thong sandals with gold accents, white-and-pink “flyaways” with ruched sleeves and a chiffon print zipper blouse.