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.