Menards says it is not building a store because of Obama
There are a number of factors that go into the decision by a retailer to open a new store such as the current health of its business, location, consumer demographics, local zoning issues and state tax incentives. Somewhere between rarely and never do you hear that a decision to build, or not, is based on the person occupying the Oval Office. That brings us to the home improvement chain, Menards.
Recent newspaper reports say that Menards has chosen to put off building a new store in New Philadephia, OH because the chain’s ownership is waiting to see who will replace President Obama in the White House.
Jessie O’Mara, a spokesperson for the chain, wrote in an e-mail to a Times-Reporter, “We are a family owned business and with the Obama Administration scaring the dickens out of all family businesses in the U.S.A. at present and with no certainty if the next administration will be any better, we have decided not to risk expansion until things are more settled.”
Based on Ms. O’Mara’s logic, the chain may not want to build a store for quite some time. Not only is it looking unlikely that a sympathetic Republican will take the White House, but the decision not to build comes at a time when Republicans control both the Senate and House of Representatives in Washington. This may not be the case a year from now with 24 GOP members of the Senate up for reelection, including seven in states where Mr. Obama won in the past two elections.
The chain recently was found to be in violation of federal labor law for a clause in its contracts that allowed the company to cut a store manager’s pay by 60 percent if a location’s employees chose to form a union.
- Menards construction on hold in New Phila – Times-Reporter
- Menards cuts store managers’ pay if unions form – RetailWire
- Menards refuses to build store in Ohio while Obama is president – The Capital Times
- NLRB: Menard Inc. violates labor law in employee treatment – The Associated Press/St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Donald Trump’s unfavorable rating is unprecedented – New York Post
- The Senate map is looking better and better for Democrats – The Washington Post (tiered sub.)
How common is it for retailers to put off building stores or to make other major business decisions based on the person sitting in the White House? If you had the chance, what would you tell the next President needs to be done to improve conditions for retail industry stakeholders?