Menards says “Thanks, Obama”?

Menards, the Wisconsin-based DIY chain, announced that it’s postponing the opening of a new location in Ohio pending the results of the Presidential election. Apparently the family-owned business is hopeful for a different regulatory environment…or something. (The Menard family has donated generously to Republican candidates.) As you might imagine, this topic brought forth all kinds of reactions among RetailWire panelists, depending on their side of the aisle. I’ll let my comments speak for themselves:

It seems to me that the home improvement/DIY sector has done nicely since the Great Recession. I guess Mr. Menard’s memory is short regarding the housing bubble, the unemployment rate above 10%, and so forth.

As I’ve mentioned before, I worked for Kohl’s from 1982 (18 stores) to 2006 (750 stores and much higher now). Kohl’s has opened stores during Republican and Democratic administrations, in times of economic boom and bust, and when the regulatory environment varied greatly. (Remember that the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by Bush 41, and brought some sweeping design changes to the retail landscape.)

My point: If your company has a valid strategy, go for it. In the meantime, run for office if you want to use your megaphone more effectively.


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