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Private company
IndustryRetail (Home improvement)
Founded1960; 60 years ago (1960)
FounderJohn Menard Jr.
HeadquartersEau Claire, Wisconsin, U.S.
Number of locations
Key people
John Menard Jr. (President)
ProductsBuilding materials, tools, hardware, garden supplies, electrical supplies, ceiling fans, light fixtures, cabinets, home appliances, doors, windows, paint, wood stain, wallpaper, plumbing supplies, carpet, vinyl, linoleum, groceries, automotive
RevenueIncrease US$ 10 billion (2017)[1]
OwnerMenard, Inc.
Number of employees
45,000 (2017)

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 The Home Depot and Lowe's.[1]

Company history[edit]

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]

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[edit]

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]


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 girl 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 alternative long version of the jingle (played in stores only) is as follows:

 You save big money, you save big money
 When you shop Menards
(narration of on sale products during instrumental)
 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!

Auto racing[edit]

Menards NASCAR display

Menards has supported several racing drivers, including Paul Menard (John Menard's son);[12] Robby Gordon; P. J. Jones;[13] Brandon Jones;[14] Matt Crafton;[15] Simon Pagenaud, and Ryan Blaney.[16] Menards began sponsoring Team Penske in 2016.[17] Menards has also become the title sponsor of races in the Xfinity Series[18] and as the entitlement sponsor for the[19] ARCA Racing Series.[20]

Industry ranking[edit]

In 2016, Menard, Inc., was ranked 37th on Forbes’ list of "America's Largest Private Companies", with an estimated revenue of USD$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]


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 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 had instituted a policy that prohibits children under the age of 16 and pets (service animals exempted; Menards has always banned pets from entering their stores) from entering their stores.[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.


  1. ^ a b c "Menard on the Forbes America's Largest Private Companies List". Forbes. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Bloomberg Billionaires Index - John Menard Jr". Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  3. ^ "About Us at Menards". Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  4. ^ Carlyle, Erin (Dec 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.
  5. ^ "Menards is building centers in Iowa, Ohio instead of Eau Claire". La Crosse Tribune.
  6. ^ Doris Hajewski (April 13, 2007). "Got milk at Menards?". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  7. ^ "Menards for nails, tools, groceries?". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  8. ^ "THE MARKETING 100: MENARDS: JOHN MENARD". Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  9. ^ "Ditties for the decades". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ Kangas, Chaz (December 17, 2014). "The "Save Big Money at Menards" Jingle: A History". City Pages. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  12. ^ "Paul Menard - Richard Childress Racing". Richard Childress Racing. Archived from the original on March 15, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  13. ^ "Sponsor Search Page". Racing Reference. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  14. ^ "Menards to Continue Partnership with RCR XFINITY Programs - Richard Childress Racing". Richard Childress Racing. January 22, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  15. ^ "Crafton, Menards extend ThorSport partnership". Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  16. ^ "Menards doubles sponsorship deal with Penske, Pagenaud for 2017". Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  17. ^ DiZinno, Tony. "Menards to continue IndyCar sponsorship with Team Penske". NBC Sports. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  18. ^ "XFINITY Series race results for Menards 250 at Michigan". FOX Sports. June 11, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  19. ^ "ARCA and Menards Announce Partenership Expansion". ARCA Racing. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  20. ^ "NASCAR's Matt Crafton Enters May 15 Menards 200". ARCA Racing. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  21. ^ (2016-06-30). "STORES Top Retailers 2016". National Retail Federation. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  22. ^ "2018 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Survey". J.D. Power. 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  23. ^ Van de Kamp Nohl, Mary (2007-04-30). "Big Money". Milwaukee Magazine. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  24. ^ "Michigan AG sends cease and desist letter to Menards over price gouging". FOX 2 Detroit. 2020-03-17. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  25. ^ Gibbons, Lauren (2020-03-17). "Michigan Attorney General accuses Menards of coronavirus price gouging, calls price hikes on bleach, face masks 'unconscionable'". Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  26. ^ "Menards Updates at Menards®". Menards®. Retrieved 2020-06-06.
  27. ^ Reighard, Angela (2020-04-07). "Single parents "frustrated" by new Menards policy not allowing children under 16 inside the store". WBNS-10TV. Retrieved 2020-06-06.