Menards: ‘More plus new things’
By Jeff Kiger
"More of everything plus new things."
That’s how manager Bryan Wilson describes what customers will find at the expanded Menards South store at 3000 S. Broadway in Rochester.
Following the Eau Claire, Wis.-based home improvement chain’s format for its new stores, the Broadway store has grown to 200,000 square feet. It now features a large paint area, garden center, grocery section, pet supplies, deer hunting blinds, an expanded faucet area and big constructed displays of windows, patio furniture, hand railings and flooring.
"We want to continue to help the great customer bases we have and encourage those that haven’t shopped Menards to try us," Wilson said.
Some of the changes are very fresh. Cashiers just started using 14 conveyor belt check-out stations last week. Food was still going up on shelves in the pantry section Friday.
Wilson expects all of the changes to be done by the end of April or early May. New employees will be added to the 220 at the store to help with the additional sections.
Why make all of these changes that cross the home improvement store into grocery, plant nursery and sporting goods categories?
"We listen to our guests, and our guests like the convenience of one-stop shopping," Wilson said.
This format has been successful in other markets, he said. The Red Wing Menards store already has it.
The other Rochester Menards at 5150 U.S. 52 N. is not scheduled to be expanded because of plans to build a new store near the current location.
The south store’s expansion comes as a new 200,000-square-foot Fleet Farm store is being built farther south on U.S. 63, in the new Shoppes on Maine retail center.
While he acknowledges Rochester is a competitive market for home improvement, Wilson said the change is simply to make shopping at Menards more convenient.
"No contractors will be able to say they can’t stop for milk now. They can pick up shingles and the milk on their way home," he said. "This is what customers have told us they want."