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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that reports that Menards, a Wisconsin home improvement chain, is adding grocery departments to its largest stores, which run as big as 200,000 square feet.

“In doing so,” the Journal Sentinel writes. “the company has added an array of items beyond the traditional paint and hardware categories, including mattresses, appliances, laundry supplies, candles, best-selling novels, magazines and office supplies. Now some of the larger stores have six aisles of groceries and a pet supply department.” These new sections are being located in the back of the stores and include “frozen pizza, cereal, condiments, cookies, chips, canned goods and soda, but no produce or fresh meats.”

Home Depot began this mini-trend some time ago, opening convenience stores and gasoline pumps in front of a few select stores.
KC's View:
This sounds like a good idea, and to be honest we don’t know Menards…so we can’t judge how effective the strategy will be. It is hard to image that these aisles will pull their weight in terms of contribution to sales, but we’re willing to be surprised.