Hardware Retailing

MAY 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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May 2018 | HARDWARE RETAILING 153 Menards M enards is a big-box enigma in the U.S. home improvement industry. Older than Home Depot and smaller than both Home Depot and Lowe's, the Wisconsin company has stayed quietly regional and privately owned for more than 50 years and counting. At the same time, the bold lettering on Menards-sponsored race cars, the iconic "Save Big Money" jingle, and the founder's reputation are not quiet. Founder John Menard cannot avoid public scrutiny, as he lands on Forbes' annual list of American billionaires year after year and appears at NASCAR races to watch his race car driver son, Paul. But, as a private company, the third-largest home improvement retailer in the U.S. does not release financial information, unlike its publicly traded competitors and independent cooperatives such as Ace Hardware and True Value. In addition, Menards' leadership has mostly avoided requests for media interviews and closely controls information the company releases. Hardware Retailing has been among the media outlets that have contacted the company for more information without receiving a response. A comprehensive look at how Menards operates is difficult to get, and people who haven't worked in executive roles within the company know little about it. Because few public documents are available and Menards did not provide interviews, Hardware Retailing writers compiled information from existing research and approached retail industry observers for added insight. On the following pages, you will find the results of their work in a 360-degree look at the company. What We'll Cover 154 The History of Menards 156 Who Is John Menard? 158 A Snapshot of Menards 160 Menards in Recent Years 164 SWOT Analysis 166 The Financials 168 Menards on Its Home Turf 169 Menards' Market and Opportunities The information in this 360-degree overview was gathered by Hardware Retailing staff from a variety of resources that are attributed throughout.

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