Menards
Company typePrivate
IndustryRetail (home improvement)
Founded1960; 64 years ago (1960)
FounderJohn Menard Jr.
HeadquartersEau Claire, Wisconsin, US
Number of locations
351 stores and 12 distribution centers (as of January 2023)
Key people
John Menard Jr. (president)
Paul Menard (member board of directors)
ProductsBuilding materials, tools, hardware, garden supplies, electrical supplies, ceiling fans, light fixtures, cabinets, home appliances, doors, windows, paint, wood stain, wallpaper, plumbing supplies, toilets, carpet, vinyl, linoleum, groceries, pet food, automotive, propane
RevenueIncrease US$13 billion (2022)
OwnerMenard, Inc.
Number of employees
45,000 (2020)
Websitewww.menards.com Edit this at Wikidata

Menards is an American home improvement retail company headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Menards is owned by founder John Menard Jr. through his privately held company, Menard, Inc. It has 351 stores in 15 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, with plans to expand to Pennsylvania. Menards is the third-largest home improvement store in the United States, behind Lowe's and The Home Depot.

Company history

In 1958, 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.[1] 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 [2] and incorporated in 1962.[3] The first Menards hardware store opened in 1964. By opening a truss plant in the late 1960s, Menards grew to produce more substantial building materials on-site. The truss plant evolved into the Menard Building Division, which produced steel siding and roofing, interior and exterior doors, decking and treated lumber, and other materials. Between the 1970's and 1980's Menards began opening locations in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The company expanded into Nebraska in 1990, Illinois in 1991 and Indiana and Michigan in 1992.[4] Menards sold the Menard Building Division in 1994, racking up 36 years in the pole building industry.

Menards of East Madison, Wisconsin, pictured in 2012

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 2000, the company opened its 150th store. During the early and mid 2000's, Menards expanded into Ohio.

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] In 2008, the company expanded into Missouri. In 2009, Menards opened its first Wyoming location in Casper. Then it was followed by another location in Gillette and one more in Cheyenne. In 2011, the company expanded into Kansas. In 2012, Menards opened its first Kentucky location in Owensboro. Four more locations opened in Kentucky, one in Louisville, another in Paducah, another in Elizabethtown and the last one in Florence. Two more locations are coming to Kentucky: Bowling Green and Richmond.

In 2020, Menards expanded into West Virginia, opening three locations in that state: one in Wheeling, another in Morgantown, and the last one in Huntington.[6] In 2022, Menards announced that they will open a fourth West Virginia store in Bridgeport.[7] Then there will be a fifth Menards in West Virginia in Parkersburg,[8] followed by a sixth location in Charleston.

A fifth manufacturing and distribution center in Ravenna, Ohio began construction in Spring 2022 after a two-year-long delay.[9] The distribution center in Ravenna will supplement the chain's expansion into Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.[10] Four more Ohio locations are currently in the works: Granger, Zanesville, Youngstown, and Aurora. Menards announced in 2022 that it will expand to Pennsylvania for the first time, starting with Washington. A second Menards in Uniontown has been delayed.[11] In 2023, Menards announced it would open its first Joplin, Missouri location.

An example of the older exterior of the Menards store in Ankeny, Iowa
States with Menards stores as of 2024
States with Menards stores
An example of the older exterior of the Menards store in Ankeny, Iowa
Menards store in West Lafayette, Indiana
Menards store in West Lafayette, Indiana

Groceries

Grocery section of Menards store in Traverse City, Michigan

In 2007, the 240,000 sq ft (22,000 m2) and larger Menards stores began selling groceries.[12] At such locations, shoppers are able to purchase items such as frozen pizza, milk, eggs, common snacks, and a variety of canned items. In addition, these Menards locations carry items such as office supplies, pet supplies, and mattresses.[13]

Advertising

Menards publishes weekly print ads and broadcasts TV and radio ads.[14] Radio and TV ads are usually accompanied by banjo music (resembling that of bluegrass music) played by Gary Shaw of Wisconsin.[15] 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.[16] Before his return in 1999, Kim Larsen 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.[17] Warren Lada, WLXR radio in LaCrosse, wrote the lyrics to the "Save Big Money" jingle in the early 1970s.

Spanish language commercials (whose music contains a mixture of mariachi and banjo sounds) end with "¡Ganar mucho dinero en Menards!"[citation needed]

Auto racing

Menards NASCAR display
Menards sponsoring Simon Pagenaud in IndyCar, 2019

John Menard got involved in Indycar racing in the early 1980s working with his neighbor, driver Herm Johnson. Menard eventually owned cars, primarily focusing on the Indianapolis 500 often using stock block Buick V6 engines. When Buick left the sport, Menard bought the engine tooling from Buick and began producing the engines under the Menard V6 name. Driver Scott Brayton won two consecutive Indy 500 poles for Menard, but was killed in a practice crash before the 1996 500. Tony Stewart got his first Indy 500 starts for Menard, and in 1992 Al Unser Sr. scored the highest Indy 500 finish for the team (3rd) and the highest ever 500 finish for the Buick/Menard V6 engine. Menards has supported several racing drivers, including Paul Menard (John Menard's son) who won his only NASCAR Cup race in the 2011 Brickyard 400 in a Menards sponsored Richard Childress Chevrolet. ;[18] Robby Gordon; P. J. Jones;[19] Brandon Jones;[20] Matt Crafton;[21] Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Blaney and Matt DiBenedetto.[22] Menards began sponsoring Team Penske in 2016.[23] Menards has also become the title sponsor of races in the Xfinity Series[24] and as the entitlement sponsor for the[25] ARCA Racing Series.[26]

In 2023, the Menards and Matt Crafton sponsorship partnership surpassed STP and Richard Petty as NASCAR's longest-tenured driver/sponsorship relationship.[27]

Industry rankings

In 2021, Menards ranked 26th on Forbes’ list of "America's Largest Private Companies", with an estimated revenue of US$11.8 billion.[28] In 2022, Menards ranked 34th on the National Retail Federation's list of "100 Top Retailers".[29]

In 2022, Menards ranked second in a J.D. Power survey in customer satisfaction among home improvement retail stores.[30]

In 2022, Menards ranked 28th on Forbes' list of "America's Largest Private Companies" with an estimated revenue of US$ 13 billion. [31]

Controversies

According to Milwaukee Magazine in 2007, Menards was 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.[32]

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.[33][34]

During the early stages of the pandemic, Menards instituted a policy that prohibited children under age 16 and non-service animals in stores, to the frustration of single parents who do not have other childcare options.[35] The policy for children was later relaxed.[36]

Gallery

Menards Headquarters
Eau Claire, Wisconsin

References

  1. ^ "Bloomberg Billionaires Index - John Menard Jr". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  2. ^ "About Us at Menards". Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  3. ^ Carlyle, Erin (December 16, 2013). "Meet The Best Hardware Store In the Nation, And The Midwestern Billionaire Who Built It: John Menard Jr". Forbes. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "History of Menards". Funding Universe.
  5. ^ "Menards is building centers in Iowa, Ohio instead of Eau Claire". La Crosse Tribune.
  6. ^ Slater, Chris (February 22, 2021). "Home improvement store Menards opens Morgantown (West Virginia) location; 207,000 square feet". Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  7. ^ Williams, Aaron (January 31, 2021). "Menards Bridgeport, West Virginia build shows signs of life". Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  8. ^ Dunlap, Brett (May 23, 2020). "Menards shows signs of life in Parkersburg". Retrieved May 23, 2020.
  9. ^ Smith, Diane. "Major investment planned in Ravenna in 2022". Record-Courier. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  10. ^ Smith, Diane. "Ravenna planners OK Menards' $52 million project". Record-Courier. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  11. ^ Tony, Mike (September 20, 2019). "More details emerge about Menards coming to Fayette County". Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  12. ^ Hajewski, Doris (April 13, 2007). "Got milk at Menards?". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on June 26, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  13. ^ "Menards for nails, tools, groceries?". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  14. ^ "The Marketing 100: Menards: John Menard". Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  15. ^ "Ditties for the decades". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  16. ^ "Seasoned Menards guy is hard to wear out". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. July 7, 2002. Archived from the original on September 4, 2002. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  17. ^ Kangas, Chaz (December 17, 2014). "The "Save Big Money at Menards" Jingle: A History". City Pages. Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  18. ^ "Paul Menard - Richard Childress Racing". Richard Childress Racing. Archived from the original on March 15, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  19. ^ "Sponsor Search Page". Racing Reference. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  20. ^ Saunders, Chelsea (January 22, 2016). "Menards to Continue Partnership with RCR XFINITY Programs - Richard Childress Racing". Richard Childress Racing. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  21. ^ "Crafton, Menards extend ThorSport partnership". Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  22. ^ "Menards doubles sponsorship deal with Penske, Pagenaud for 2017". IndyCar.com. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  23. ^ DiZinno, Tony (30 August 2017). "Menards to continue IndyCar sponsorship with Team Penske". NBC Sports. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  24. ^ Menzer, Joe (June 11, 2016). "XFINITY Series race results for Menards 250 at Michigan". Fox News. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  25. ^ "ARCA and Menards Announce Partnership Expansion". ARCA Racing. Archived from the original on 2019-04-20. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  26. ^ "NASCAR's Matt Crafton Enters May 15 Menards 200 - ARCA Racing". August 29, 2017. Archived from the original on August 29, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  27. ^ "Matt Crafton and Menards Mark a Historic 20-Year Partnership".
  28. ^ Profile: Menards. Forbes.
  29. ^ National Retail Federation (2022). "Top 100 Retailers 2022 List". Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  30. ^ "Home Improvement Retailers Fight Inflation with Stand-Out Customer Service, J.D. Power Finds". J.D. Power. May 18, 2022. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  31. ^ "Menards | Company Overview & News". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-01-24.
  32. ^ Van de Kamp Nohl, Mary (April 30, 2007). "Big Money". Milwaukee Magazine. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  33. ^ "Michigan AG sends cease and desist letter to Menards over price gouging". FOX 2 Detroit. March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  34. ^ Gibbons, Lauren (March 17, 2020). "Michigan Attorney General accuses Menards of coronavirus price gouging, calls price hikes on bleach, face masks 'unconscionable'". MLive.com. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  35. ^ "Single parents "frustrated" by new Menards policy not allowing children under 16 inside the store". 10tv.com. April 7, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  36. ^ "Menards Updates at Menards". Menards. Retrieved June 6, 2020.