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Don't fear Menard's, welcome it

March 25, 2011 - Per Peterson
There are two sides to the Menard’s story — the side that welcomes the business to town and the side that predicts doom for existing lumber/hardware stores. I don’t think Menard’s, which opens Tuesday, will be the end-all of current businesses like Patzer’s Hardware Hank and TrueValue. People who have gone to Patzers for years will continue to go there. Same with TrueValue. They might head to the southern edge of the city next week to get a look at the new Menard’s store, but they won’t give up their routine of patronizing the stores they have give their business to for so many years. Let’s stay positive about Menard’s coming to Marshall. Let’s think about the people it will bring in from area communities who have before now traveled to Sioux Falls, S.D., or another Minnesota city just because they have a Menard’s and Marshall doesn’t. I’m sure there are people in Marshall who found themselves leaving town for a Menard’s run every now and then. Now they won’t have to. Patzer’s has been a longtime downtown staple and will continue to be. TrueValue is a fixture on U.S. Highway 59 and will continue to be. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with a little competition — at least for the consumer. Those two businesses, along with others like Independent Lumber and Floor to Ceiling, might not be as big as Menard’s, but customers have a connection with our existing stores and their employees. Plus, a store like Menard’s shows outsiders that this is a growing community that can support a major outlet like a Menard’s. That’s saying a lot. This is growth, folks. It's a good thing.


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