Statewide Pro-Family Group Commends Menards; CLOSED on Thanksgiving

Press release from Wisconsin Family Action:

Wisconsin-based home improvement center remains closed on Thanksgiving

ImageIn an open letter to John Menard, Jr, CEO of Menard, Inc., Wisconsin Family Council president Julaine Appling commends Mr. Menard and his corporation, in particular the Menards stores, for bucking the recent trend of keeping retail stores open on Thanksgiving and other major holidays. Following is a statement from Julaine regarding the letter.

“I’ve been dismayed by how many retailers are treating our major holidays like any other buy-and-sell day. I don’t shop a lot, but when I walk into major stores and see signs boasting of being open all day Thanksgiving, I am not impressed—and I suspect I’m not the only one who feels that way.

“As Wisconsin’s premier pro-family organization, we believe it’s important that we publicly acknowledge and thank Mr. Menard for his decision to put families ahead of profit that might be made this Thursday. It’s a truly commendable action given the direction we are headed in this country. Perhaps Mr. Menard’s decision will embolden others to follow his lead.

“Late last week I was in one of those stores that is boasting about being open all day Thanksgiving. A friend of mine who works in the store was on duty (she’s scheduled to work the holiday). When I expressed to her my disappointment about this decision, she said, ‘You know, the founder of this company would never have done this. I don’t understand why his heirs and current management think this is good. Is it just greed?’

I couldn’t answer that question, but I certainly understood what she was saying. Much of corporate America, historically, was founded by people with strong family values and a deep respect for the traditions of this great country. Today, it seems much of that is lost and everything is about increasing the corporate bottom line. I don’t think that’s a good trend for our state and nation.

“I am hopeful that many people will not shop on Thanksgiving. Instead, I trust families and friends will gather and spend the day together enjoying each other and truly giving thanks to God for His incredible blessings on this land. And I also hope that Menards in particular here in Wisconsin enjoys one of the best ‘Black Fridays’ in its history!”

The Open Letter to John Menard, Jr. is available online HERE.


One comment on “Statewide Pro-Family Group Commends Menards; CLOSED on Thanksgiving

  1. bryanhellios says:

    I was also moved by John Menards actions and I wrote a letter to him as well:

    John Menard,
    On Black Friday your parking lots were extremely crowded, and that was AWESOME! Why was it awesome? Because you took a stand and closed down your stores for Thanksgiving so your employees could spend time with their families. Other stores like Walmart and Best Buy, chose to remain open on thanksgiving. If it matters, Best Buy was closed until 6pm on Thanksgiving; so they did at least allow their employees a little time to spend with their families.

    To be honest, I did go to Best Buy on Thanksgiving, but not to buy anything. I went there to film those die hard Black Friday shoppers that camp out in front of the store. However, I believe Best Buy’s attempt to start Black Friday sales on Thursday, had a tremendous impact on the number of people they had “camping” in line.

    When I arrived at Best Buy on Thanksgiving, I was expecting to see lines of people waiting for the store to open. To my surprise, there were roughly around 25 people in line. Because 25 people waiting in line does not sound like news, I was going to have to come up with a new project idea for my college assignment. Looking to the internet, I discovered that there was going to be a protest against Walmart that was scheduled to take place on Black Friday at Walmarts around the country. I figured I could grab a couple of minutes of video at the protest and have my assignment completed before Monday. Well, I was wrong again. Not only were there no protestors, their parking lot seemed rather deserted. Feeling discouraged, I headed for home. That’s when I noticed your parking lot, your lot was packed! If the number of cars that were in your parking lots on Friday were compared to number of cars that were in other retailer’s parking lots on that same Friday, it would indicate that your Black Friday was more successful than other Eau Claire retailers.

    That morning, I realized just how lucky Eau Claire is to have your stores here. We are lucky because you don’t have to answer to shareholders who are more concerned about profit than doing what is right. Of course you want to make a profit too, and you should. Shareholders don’t have to lift a finger to receive a profit. You, on the other hand, have to work for your profit. In fact, your work is visible to anyone who enters a Menards.

    I hope that you can see that there are a number of people in Eau Claire that appreciate your dedication to making Menards a great place to shop. For this reason, I would also like to extend an opportunity for you to be able to inspire future entrepreneurs and be a guest speaker at UWEC for our American Marketing Association (AMA) regional conference held in February. AMA is a student run group on campus that I am proud to be a part of and I would be honored if you would share a little of your knowledge with us.
    Thanks for reading my letter and thanks for your dedication to Menards and your customers.
    Bryan Hellios

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