Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Menards pulling out of Kansas City?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 1:57 PM

The Menards guy may be skipping out of KC.
  • The Menards guy may be skipping out of KC.

It was only a year ago that Kansas City was about to become more like St. Joseph when Menards planned to expand here.

But now the plucky home improvement store concept has soured on expanding in Kansas City and elsewhere.

The reason? It depends on what day you catch Menard Inc. spokesman Jeff Abbott.

He has told the Kansas City Business Journal at various times at various times that the Wisconsin-based company feared the way federal lawmakers behaved themselves during the fiscal cliff, and thus put off plans to put stores in places like Independence.

He was more animated with the St. Charles County Suburban Journal when explaining why the store would shelve its plans for a store in O'Fallon on the east side of the Show-Me State.

"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," Abbott told the paper in a December 10 story.

Menard Inc. isn't exactly a small business, hitting the No. 42 spot on Forbes' list of largest private companies in 2011 with revenues a shade north of $8 billion, but whatever.

The Pitch couldn't catch Abbott Tuesday, but noticed in Wednesday's Tax Increment Financing Commission of Kansas City agenda that Menard Inc. had asked to nix an earlier agreement for public assistance for a planned store in Kansas City North at Missouri Highway 152 and North Green Hills Road.

That signals the store may abandon its Kansas City location after stalling on plans to build elsewhere.

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