Spooky Menards

menards

I ventured out to the brand-spanking-new Menards in Hermantown today. I wandered through about half the store, and around every corner the same thought crossed my mind: Holy cow, this is so spookily identical to the West Duluth Menards, I’m expecting to see the I-35 viaduct in front of me when I walk out the door.

Now, I know big chains have cookie-cutter stores, but if you go from, say, one Target to another, there generally are some pretty significant differences in layout, displays, etc. The big, new Menards in my Wisconsin hometown is very different from the West Duluth store. But that’s not the case in Hermantown. It’s eerie. Everything I saw – pet supplies, seeds, insulation, garage-door openers, checkout lanes – was in exactly the same proximity to each other as in the West Duluth store. There are a few cosmetic differences – but not much.

What makes this even more odd is that – correct me if I’m wrong – the West Duluth store was adapted to fit the old Shoppers City structure, so conceivably that should have been kind of a unique setup in the Menards chain. Maybe the company really liked it and wanted to duplicate it. In any case, go see the identical twin Menards for yourself.

21 Comments

Bret

about 15 years ago

But can you save big money at Menards?

ironic1

about 15 years ago

Deja Menards?

Dan E.

about 15 years ago

The Superior Menards is pretty much the same as the West Duluth store.

Poof

about 15 years ago

SHOPPER'S SHITTY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul Lundgren

about 15 years ago

The West Duluth Menards was not fitted into the old Shoppers City. I think it was originally, but it expanded several years ago.

Barrett

about 15 years ago

Paul's right. The old Shopper's City building initially became Kmart and the Country Store (two stores in one building -- the Country Store was a supermarket). Then the Country Store went belly up and it was just Kmart for a long time.

When Kmart moved to its current location, Menard's opened in the old Shopper's City building. But more recently, maybe five years ago, the whole area was razed and rebuilt from scratch, with a new parking lot and landscaping.

Danny

about 15 years ago

I specifically remember going into that KMart one day with my dad and him buying me Han Solo with the Endor trench coat and a Gamorean Guard.  I then remember going to Wendy's on London Road that same day and playing with those toys while eating lunch.  Strange what memories pop into your head out of nowhere like that.

neal

about 15 years ago

you want a real menards? come to the one on university in st. paul.  we have guy playing a grand piano and crazy track systems to get you to the second floor.  and be sure to watch the instructional video when moving up said track.

it's pure magic is what it is.

vicarious

about 15 years ago

I walked into the Cub Foods in St. Anthony (MPLS burb) one day and, in about 5 seconds, forgot I wasn't in Duluth. Exact same layout. It wasn't until I walked back outside that I realized where I was. Seriously, it happened.

jill

about 15 years ago

whaddya mean the new Menards in Hermantown?  there's a New one??? help! there was already a Menards on 53.  somebody please explain.  or better yet, tell me this is a joke.
been a while since i've been 'Over the Hill' as they say down here in the 'Lower Hillside'

charlie

about 15 years ago

Menards Rocks!

Swan

about 15 years ago

It is always the same big monkeys at Menards.

Tim K

about 15 years ago

Being a cheap "Menard's building," the Hermantown store was basically flattened and an entirely new and much bigger store was put up. I remember going to Sandy's Drive-In on London Road.

Rae

about 15 years ago

Menards has pre-existing building structures that are built to be complimentary to the building site.  As Menards has grown in size the layouts of their stores have as well.  Each store has a prototype #.

The store in Superior is a P3 store.  Most stores built around the same time will be a P3 or possibly a P3-C (which means that the floor plan is reversed). 

The Hermantown store and the West Duluth are both P-5 stores. (Which as far as I know, is currently their largest floor plan.)  The Hermantown store used to be a P1C (which was one of the smallest besides small market stores like I-Falls) - which included an adddition of their mezzanine area. 

The inside layout of the stores are the same because all P-5 stores share the same plan-o-grams for their product merchandising.  All this is a directive from their General Office in Eau Claire.

The St. Paul store was a beta store to test more urban markets which is why it has all the cool features like glass railings, grand pianos, a two story layout (to fit the small available foot print) and a cart escalator.

Does that clear things up?

zra

about 15 years ago

everything you wanted to know about Menard's but were afraid to ask.

Rae

about 15 years ago

I'm embarrassed to even know that much information on the subject.  Consider it the longest 2 1/2 years of my life.

chris m

about 15 years ago

shop your local hardware-preferably Marshall's of course.

tammy

about 15 years ago

shopper city was such a lifetime ago....I remember being in there with my grandma when I was probably too young to even be remembering! Living in  Duluth WAS a lifetime ago for me

Ken R

about 14 years ago

I have lived in Florida for 35 years now but remember Shoppers City from my childhood in Duluth very well.  Would love to see a picture if it circa 1970 or so...I remember the big neon sign and getting phtos made in the little booth for 25 cents...like someone said, a different world

Paul Lundgren

about 14 years ago

For info and photos of Shoppers' City, check out this new post:

http://www.perfectduluthday.com/2009/12/01/shoppers-city/

Roger Nesje

about 14 years ago

The whole building was not razed when Menards remodeled the old Shoppers city site the South wall was taken out plus about 20 or so feet of the south side of the building. The rest was completely gutted out and an addition expanding out on the south side was added.
  I do recall Shoppers city opening in May of 1962. I was there on opening day.

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