April  2004

Big Box Bulletin

Menards Expands Stores

Wisconsin-based Menards is nearing completion of its largest store ever-a 250,000-square-foot building in West Duluth, Minn.-and the company is planning to expand its stores in Superior, Wis., and Hermantown, Minn., according to an article

Company vice president Marv Prochaska said in the article that he “expects the West Duluth structure to be ready for business by early spring. The store closed last summer to allow for an expansion and total overhaul of the original building. Since late 2002, Menards has taken out construction permits for improvements worth $6.7 million on the property.”

He believes that the Superior and Hermantown stores will be expanded by early 2006 and will not have to be closed to be expanded.

“The 90,000-square-foot Herman-town store will be increased to 168,000 square feet, and the 165,000-square-foot Superior store will be expanded to about 250,000 square feet,”said the article.
The larger Menards stores will carry a full line of home appliances and feature garden centers as well as building supplies.

Ace Celebrates Big 8-0 with Record Sales
Ace Hardware Corp., which is based in Oak Brook, Ill., is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, and it says it has surpassed $100 in net income for the first time in history for 2003.

Wickes Inc. Makes Changes to its Board of Directors 
Vernon Hills, Ill.-based Wickes Inc. has elected its president and chief executive officer, James O’Grady, to the company’s board of directors. 

The company also reported the resignations of Claudia Slacik and Jon Hanson from their positions on the board.

“We welcome Jim O’Grady to the board and anticipate that he will continue to play an instrumental role, both as a director and a member of senior management, in seeking to resolve our current liquidity crisis,” said Robert E. Mulcahy III, Wickes chairperson stated. “Both Claudia and Jon have been invaluable in guiding the other directors and senior management through the many challenges faced by the company. Their advice, input and leadership were important components of positioning Wickes for its current turnaround efforts. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.” 

Another Big Box Enters the Twin Cities
Lowe’s, the nation's No. 2 home improvement retailer, will enter the twin cities with its first Minnesota store when it opens in Coon Rapids this month.

“The arrival of Lowe’s will further crowd the home improvement arena and force larger players like Menards and smaller entities like Home Valu to once again assert their places in the market,” said an article on the website

Tim Boom, vice president of retail services at CB Richard Ellis in Bloomington, Minn., says it’s questionable whether the area can support another big-box retailer. Home Depot is already in the area.
Home Valu president Gerry Boschwitz said, “I think they (Lowe’s) will affect all of us to some extent, but I don’t think they (Lowe’s) will put anyone out of business. I think we will be able to co-exist.”


OSB Prices
For this issue, SHELTER contacted nine retailers around the country to see for what price they are selling 23/32-inch tongue-and-groove oriented strand board (OSB). The mean for the OSB was $27.12, and the median was $25.99. 

Albuquerque, N.M.     $30.99
Atlanta                         $25.59
Columbus, Ohio           $24.95
Denver                         $30.69
El Paso, Texas             $30.99
Fargo, N.D.                 $25.99
Hartford, Conn.           $26.99
Jackson, Miss.             $22.99
Pittsburgh                     $24.95 


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