Menards pulls back again, citing economy

Home improvement retailer Menards is postponing its plans to enter the Kansas City market over concerns that “economic conditions will worsen,” according to an article in The Kansas City Star.

Company spokesman Jeff Abbott told the newspaper the Eau Claire, Wis.-based company will not be building planned units in Belton, Mo.; Kansas City Northland and Overland Park, Kan. 

In a statement, Abbott said: “We are postponing building these stores. The concern we have is that economic conditions will worsen and that the federal government will impose more and more restrictions on business going forward, which is very discouraging. If one or both of these things happen, investing in new stores is foolhardy. Hopefully we’re wrong. If and when economic conditions improve, and if we survive the fiscal cliff and all that, we hope to be able to reconsider.”

Last week, Abbott told the newspaper that Menards was postponing plans for an Independence, Mo., store, as well as another one planned for the St. Louis area. He also told KMOV, a Missouri television station, that the retailer decided not to open a store in O'Fallon, Mo., because of President Barack Obama's economic policies.

"We are on schedule to open our new stores in O'Fallon, Ill., and St. Peters, Mo., this spring 2013," Abbott said in the TV interview. "For O'Fallon, Mo., I'm very sorry, but we are a family-owned business, and with the Obama administration scaring the dickens out of all small businesses in the USA at present, we have decided not to risk expansion until things are more settled.”

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