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Menards is a chain of home improvement stores located in the Midwestern United States, owned by founder John Menard Jr. through his privately held company, Menard, Inc.

The company, headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has 350 stores in 15 states: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Kentucky, and West Virginia. It is the third-largest home improvement chain in the United States, behind Lowe's and The Home Depot.[1]

Company history

Exterior of the Menards store in Ankeny, Iowa. An example of the older exterior.

In 1959, John Menard Jr. began building post-frame buildings to finance his college education. By the end of 1959, he found it necessary to hire extra crews, and to purchase more equipment to keep up with demand.[2] After graduating from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire in 1962, Menard purchased land in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and built an office and shop. The company was founded in 1960 [3] and incorporated in 1962.[4]

Menards was founded as Menard Cashway Lumber. In the mid-1980s, the "Cashway Lumber" name was dropped and the business became simply known to this day as Menards.

States with Menards stores

In 2007, Menards opened its third and fourth distribution centers in Holiday City, Ohio, and Shelby, Iowa, which are 669,000 square feet (62,200 m2) and 735,000 square feet (68,300 m2), respectively.[5]

Store structure

Grocery section of Menard's store in Traverse City, Michigan

In 2007, the 240,000 sq ft (22,000 m2) and larger Menards stores began selling groceries.[6] Shoppers are able to get items such as frozen pizza, milk, eggs, common snacks, and a variety of canned items. In addition, they carry items such as office supplies, pet supplies, and even mattresses.[7]

Advertising

Menards store in West Lafayette, Indiana

Menards publishes weekly print ads and broadcasts TV and radio ads.[8] Radio and TV ads are usually accompanied by banjo music (resembling that of bluegrass music) played by Gary Shaw of Wisconsin.[9] Ray Szmanda was the "Menards Guy" who used the slogan "Save big money at Menards" regularly on television advertisements from 1976 to 1998, and occasionally from 1999 until his death in 2018.[10] Before his return in 1999, a woman took over his position in his absence. During the Christmas and holiday season, radio and television ads typically feature an alternate jingle "Warm season's greetings to you all from Menards!" sung by a female chorus beginning in 1986. The same year, the “Helping You Build America’s Heartland” jingle was made.[11]

The full version of the jingle (played in stores only) is as follows:

You save big money, you save big money
When you shop Menards


After the narration of on-sale products, the closing is as follows:

Plumbing, electrical, appliances, too
The savings will always come right back to you,
You'll save big money, you'll save big money
When you shop Menards!

Spanish language commercials (which music contains a mixture of mariachi and banjo sounds) end with "¡Guarda mucho dinero en Menards!"


Auto racing

Grocery section of Menard's store in Traverse City, Michigan

In 2007, the 240,000 sq ft (22,000 m2) and larger Menards stores began selling groceries.[6] Shoppers are able to get items such as frozen pizza, milk, eggs, common snacks, and a variety of canned items. In addition, they carry items such as office

Menards was founded as Menard Cashway Lumber. In the mid-1980s, the "Cashway Lumber" name was dropped and the business became simply known to this day as Menards.

In 2007, Menards opened its third and fourth distribution centers in Holiday City, Ohio, and Shelby, Iowa, which are 669,000 square feet (62,200 m2) and 735,000 square feet (68,300 m2), respectively.[5]

Store structure

groceries.[6] Shoppers are able to get items such as frozen pizza, milk, eggs, common snacks, and a variety of canned items. In addition, they carry items such as office supplies, pet supplies, and even mattresses.[7]

Advertising

Menards store in West Lafayette, Indiana

Menards publi

Menards publishes weekly print ads and broadcasts TV and radio ads.[8] Radio and TV ads are usually accompanied by banjo music (resembling that of bluegrass music) played by Gary Shaw of Wisconsin.[9] Ray Szmanda was the "Menards Guy" who used the slogan "Save big money at Menards" regularly on television advertisements from 1976 to 1998, and occasionally from 1999 until his death in 2018.[10] Before his return in 1999, a woman took over his position in his absence. During the Christmas and holiday season, radio and television ads typically feature an alternate jingle "Warm season's greetings to you all from Menards!" sung by a female chorus beginning in 1986. The same year, the “Helping You Build America’s Heartland” jingle was made.[11]

The full version of the jingle (played in stores only) is as follows:

You save big money, you save big money
When you shop Menards


After the narration of on-sale products, the closing is as follows:

Plumbing, electrical, appliances, too
The savings will always come right back to you,
You'll save big money, you'll save big money
When you shop Menards!

Spanish language commercials (which music contains a mixture of mariachi and banjo sounds) end with "¡Guarda mucho dinero en Menards!"


Auto racing

Spanish language commercials (which music contains a mixture of mariachi and banjo sounds) end with "¡Guarda mucho dinero en Menards!"


Auto racing

In 2016, Menard, Inc., was ranked 37th on Forbes’ list of "America's Largest Private Companies", with an estimated revenue of US$8.7 billion.[1] In that same year, Menard was ranked 45th on the National Retail Federation's list of "100 Top Retailers".[21]

In 2018, Menards was ranked by J.D. Power as "highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retail stores".[22]

Forbes’ list of "America's Largest Private Companies", with an estimated revenue of US$8.7 billion.[1] In that same year, Menard was ranked 45th on the National Retail Federation's list of "100 Top Retailers".[21]

In 2018, Menards was ranked by J.D. Power as "highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retail stores".[22]

Controversi

In 2018, Menards was ranked by J.D. Power as "highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retail stores".[22]

According to Milwaukee Magazine, Menards has been cited with more regulatory violations involving air/water pollution and hazardous waste disposal than any other company in Wisconsin. It also alleges that the company is strongly anti-union, to the point that it will not hire anyone who has ever worked in a union shop, even if they did so while in their teen years.[23]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel sent Menards a cease and desist letter citing 18 complaints fr

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel sent Menards a cease and desist letter citing 18 complaints from consumers in regards to price gouging on products such as face masks and bleach. "Big box stores are not immune to the Michigan Consumer Protection Act or the Governor's Executive Order", Nessel said. "Large corporations must also play by the rules, and my office will work diligently to ensure this state's consumers are treated fairly and not abused by businesses seeking to unlawfully jack prices up to line their pockets with profits at the expense of the public during this time of great need." Nessel said that Menards would have 10 days to respond to the letter, or she would potentially take legal action.[24][25]

Also, due to the pandemic, the chain instituted a policy that prohibited children under the age of 16 and pets (service animals exempted;).[26] The chain has come under fire for implementing this policy; particularly by single parents.[27] All stores have lifted the restriction, and now once again allow children to enter the store, but require a mask unless carried by a parent or seated in the shopping cart.