MARSHALL - The shelves were stocked and waiting, and there was plenty of activity over at the site of the new Menards in Marshall on Tuesday afternoon. A pretty regular flow of cars and pickups was moving in the parking lot, as area residents checked out what the store had to offer.
"We've been waiting very patiently," for the store to open, said Minneota residents Nathan and Cherri Schmig. The statement was lighthearted, but at the same time the couple were looking for some possible choices for a countertop and some other fixtures for a home improvement project.
Travis Evans and Tasha Swanson of Marshall said they were also glad Menards was open. Evans was looking for supplies to build new cabinet doors at their home, and he said the timing of the opening was "a stroke of luck."
Photo by Deb Gau
Travis Evans and Tasha Swanson were among the customers visiting the new Menards store in Marshall on Tuesday. Evans said he was looking for supplies to build cabinets in their home.
Location was a draw for many customers. Before now, some said, they would have driven to the Menards in Sioux Falls, S.D. or Willmar instead.
The new Menards, located behind Super Wal-mart and Shopko near Boyer Drive and Susan Drive in Marshall, opened its doors to the public for the first time Tuesday. John Miller, general manager of the Marshall store, said this is a "soft opening" for Menards, and a grand opening will be held next week.
Site preparation and construction for the store had been going on since August 2008.
There didn't appear to be many overflowing shopping carts emerging from the store early Tuesday afternoon, but customers were still looking for deals, and in some cases picking up supplies for home improvement projects.
"We're just looking to see what they have," said Jeanette Otto of Marshall, as she and Shirley Paradis looked through a display of drawer pulls and cabinet knobs.
"It's very nice," Paradis said of the store.
It was good to see another option in Marshall for hardware, home and building supplies, some customers said. Nathan Schmig said in his case, looking outside the Marshall area wouldn't work.
"For countertops, I couldn't do it," he said, because of the transportation costs.
Paradis said it was also good to see Menards in Marshall, because it could be a good thing for the city. Otto agreed.
"It brings people to town," she said.