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Menards' $9B Man Believes Cheaper and Bigger Are Better
By: Cindy Wendland
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Forbes released their list of the richest person in every state. Residing in Wisconsin, we were curious who it would be. It is John Menard, Jr., with a net worth of $9.1B. If you are unfamiliar with the Menards name, Menards is a big-box DIY store based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. They have 280 stores located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Many of us who live in Wisconsin love Menards.

So if John Menard has built his fortune on a DIY store that competes with other big boxes like Home Depot and Lowe’s, how did he do it? Menards is a privately held company. The owner preaches “cheap.” Dunnhumby ranked Menards #1 in its class with strong pricing strategies. They have a very strong rebate program. Their price-to-quality perception is higher than with their competitors. Competitors have even stated that they won’t win a price war with Menards, so they focus on other areas. Price is a huge part of what has made Menards successful. What else?

Menards thinks size matters. What they lack in U.S. market penetration, they try to make up for with store size. Menards is willing to tear down a store to build a bigger one. Because they are not a national chain, they are also able to adapt to changing market conditions faster.

Their marketing slogan has stayed the same for a long time. “Save big money at Menards.” Remember big, remember save, and remember Menards. They’ll be around for a while.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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