I remember threads about Menards awhile ago in this newsgroup and thought
they left me with the impression that Menards was a bit better than Lowes,
Home Depot, or other big box stores. One in my area opened recently last
month and I wasn't real impressed - not much different than any of the
other big boxes. Oak was S4S shrink wrapped around $6.95 bd. ft. (Wonder
what good is shrink wrapping lumber (even 12' long boards) - but that's a
different question). The lumber kid couldn't tell me where the plywood was
from - saw edge voids in their 'premium grade' 3/4" oak. The power tool
section had a contractors portable table saw - no other stationary tools
Maybe Menards have gone down in quality / offerings or stores vary greatly
by region. I wasn't real impressed and won't be making any special trips to
The stores certainly can vary greatly *within* a region: Menards opened two
stores here in Indianapolis about 30 years ago, and at least four more within
the last five or six years. The older stores are (were - one just closed)
small, dingy, cluttered, under-lit, under-stocked, and under-staffed. The new
stores are enormous, clean, well-lit, well-stocked, and well-staffed by people
who know where things are in the store and in most cases know at least a
little bit about the products. There's a huge difference in the selections
available, comparing the newer stores to the older one(s).
I second that. We do most of our shopping Menards because of the sales
staff and the selection. However as any chain type stores, their
inventory varies. As any store like Menards, the worse time to shop is
in the late evening when the second shift staff are working. In most
cases they are the least experienced people and the newest employees.
For the best advise go during the 9to5 hours for the most experienced
and senior sales staff.
Menards has better plywood although the won't cut it for you.You can
even get Walnut and Cherry plywood. The have MDO plywood and baltic
The Menards in our area has random width oak and maple at decent
I don't shop at Menards. My impression is that their offerings are of lower
quality than the competition.
But there is another reason. My wife's cousin worked at Menards corporate
offices in the HR department. He quit because of the things he was forced
to do to Menards more senior employees.
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