Menards, Wal-Mart open new locations in Oregon, PerrysburgWritten by Autumn Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Justin R. Kalmes
Toledo Free Press Managing Editor
and Duane Ramsey
Senior Business Writer
Two retail giants will open the doors to new properties in the Toledo area this week, adding to the expanding business landscapes in Oregon and Perrysburg.
Wisconsin-based home improvement retailer Menards is set to open its 240,000-square-foot store near Interstate 280 in Oregon March 4 as part of the company’s plan to add an estimated 15 stores in 2008, two of which will be in Northwest Ohio. Menards expects to open a location on Alexis Road in Toledo in late spring or early summer. The company’s Holland store on Airport Highway opened in 2005.
The world’s largest employer, Wal-Mart, is opening its newest store in Northwest Ohio March 5 on state Route 20 in Perrysburg, adding more retail competition to the growing commercial area.
The Perrysburg location is one of four Wal-Mart Supercenters opening in Ohio the first week of March with stores opening in Bedford, Lancaster and Warren. The four new stores will bring 1,265 news jobs and additional tax revenues to the state, Wal-Mart officials said.
The Oregon Menards will employ between 165 and 175 employees, about 50 percent of whom will work full time, said general manager Dave Long. Of the store’s total number of employees, about 120 were local hires, he said. Long leads a leadership team that will include two assistant general managers, 10 department managers and 18 assistant department managers.
Long, who worked as general manager of the Holland location for about 18 months before reporting to the Oregon store Jan. 14, said each Menards carries more than 750,000 different items. Though the store specializes in hardware and home improvement and building supplies, it also carries a variety of other products, including clothing and groceries.
“Even though we sell milk and eggs, we’re still a lumberyard at heart,” Long said.
The Oregon Menards will feature new displays product lines that will eventually be made available at other locations, Long said. Worth checking out, he said, is the store’s patio block display, which showcases five semi-loads of slabs arranged to exhibit several different possibilities.
“It truly gives you a feel of what you can do in your backyard,” Long said, noting Menards does not compete with local contractors by offering installation services like its competitors do.
Other store features of note include a garden center and a design center that allows customers to use a computer to map out their home improvement projects. The technology creates a materials list to match the user’s design specifications.
Long said the store’s mission is to provide customers with a one-stop shop to purchase everything they need to complete a project.
“We are truly dedicated to service and quality,” he said in reference to the company’s motto.
The company’s controlled growth throughout the Midwest has set Menards apart from its competitors by ensuring its employees have the knowledge they need to exceed customers’ expectations, Long said.
“We have the opportunity to train our team members to make sure they’re ready when we open the store,” he said.
Marv Prochaska, vice president of real estate for Menards, said the company’s success at its Holland location led to its decision to open two more stores in the area. He said the company would decide if the market warrants more stores based upon the success of the Oregon and Toledo locations.
Gary Thompson, executive director of the Oregon Economic Development Foundation, said Menards is the type of store that has goods people use in everyday life. He said community leaders hope the opening leads to more retailers locating in Oregon.
“It means people living and working here in Oregon can spend their money here in Oregon as well,” Thompson said. “We’re always excited about keeping the local dollar in the local economy.”
Menards will host a contractor preview night from 6 to 8 p.m. March 3 and will open to the public March 4. The store’s grand opening is set for March 29 and will feature an appearance by former Detroit Tigers outfielder Willie Horton, Long said.
The Oregon Menards will be open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Wal-Mart opens Perrysburg store
The Perrysburg Wal-Mart will employ around 300 associates with the majority of the positions being full time, manager Russell Sporysz said. The national average wage for Wal-Mart full-time associates is $10.65 per hour.
“We think our new associates will find that Wal-Mart is a great place to work and full of opportunity for those looking for advancement and want to make a career here,” said Sporysz, who began his career with the company 10 years ago as a cart pusher at a store in South Carolina.
The 176,000-square-foot store offers more than 175,000 different items with a full line of groceries. Non-food merchandise includes apparel and accessories, fine jewelry, furniture, health and beauty aids, toys, lawn and garden supplies, and electronics.
Another feature is Wal-Mart’s “site-to-store” option, which allows customers to order items online and pick them up at the company’s nearest location.
Wal-Mart stores also support Ohio manufacturers by carrying products from companies like the Ballerich Chip Company, Keystone Meats, Ole Mexican Products, Ghossian’s MidEast Bakery and DiRusso Sausage.
Additional services include a one-hour photo lab, a pharmacy with two drive-through lanes and a Wal-Mart Connect Center for wireless sales. A SmartStyle family hair salon, a branch of Woodforest Bank and a Subway restaurant are located within the store.
The Perrysburg store will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight every day.
The store will host a grand opening ceremony at 7:15 a.m. March 5. It will open for business following the
Grand opening activities planned for the day include product samples, giveaways and character appearances. Sporysz said that grand opening grants from the store would be distributed to nine local organizations that have a positive impact on the community.
Most of the funds will support local educational programs. A total of $18,000 will be distributed to area organizations like the Ohio Division of the American Cancer Society, Miracle League of Northwest Ohio, Young Women’s Christian Association, Penta County Career Center, Perrysburg school district and Perrysburg police and fire departments.
“Wal-Mart has a long history of supporting educational initiatives,” Sporysz said.
The Perrysburg store is the fifth Wal-Mart Supercenter located in the Toledo area with other stores on West Central Avenue and Glendale Avenue in Toledo, Navarre Avenue in Oregon and at Spring Meadows in Holland. Wal-Mart also operates stores in Bowling Green, Bryan, Fremont, Napoleon and Wauseon.
Wal-Mart was seeking a site for an additional Supercenter in North Toledo possibly along Alexis Road, a company official said in October.
Discount clothing retailer Burlington Coat Factory plans to open a store in the Airport Square Shopping Center on Airport Highway just west of Reynolds Road.