Menards store to open next week near Dayton Mall

Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 10:16 AM
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 9:55 PM


            The new Menards store just south of the Dayton Mall along Ohio 741 will bring a new level of competition to the already hotly contested home improvement market in the Dayton area. The new Menards is the second in the Dayton area to compete with the likes of Home Depot and Lowe's, who have been butting heads here in Dayton for well over 10 years.
The new Menards store just south of the Dayton Mall along Ohio 741 will bring a new level of competition to the already hotly contested home improvement market in the Dayton area. The new Menards is the second in the Dayton area to compete with the likes of Home Depot and Lowe's, who have been butting heads here in Dayton for well over 10 years.

The big home-improvement chains

Home Depot

Founded: 1978

Headquarters: Atlanta

Total stores: 2,250

Local stores: 3

Revenue: $71.7 billion

Publicly traded

Lowe’s

Founded: 1946

Headquarters: Mooresville, N.C.

Total stores: 1,748

Local stores: 3

Revenue: $50.8 Billion

Publicly traded

Menards

Founded: 1960

Headquarters: Eau Claire, Wis.

Total stores: 272

Local stores: 2

Revenue: $7 billion (estimated)

Family-owned

Source: Dayton Daily News research

MIAMI TWP., Montgomery County —The 225,000-square-foot Menards “Mega Store” that opens next week near the Dayton Mall will intensify the already heated competition for consumer dollars among the major home-improvement retailers in the the Dayton area, an industry analyst said.

Menards officials announced Tuesday the new store at 8480 Springboro Pike at the southeast corner of State Route 741 will open Tuesday, Sept. 18.

The store will have a full-service lumber yard and large lawn-and-garden center, officials said. Customers will be able to use computers to help design their home-improvement projects. The store will also carry name-brand appliances, pet products and a line of convenience groceries.

“Homeowners, tenants, business owners and contractors will now have great access to a full line of building materials and supplies at the lowest prices in the area,” Menards spokesman Jeff Abbott said.

Eben Jose, home-improvement industry analyst for Los Angeles-based IBISWorld, Inc., an independent industry research company, said his firm has projected home improvement sales to grow at an annual rate of 3.3 percent over the next five years, to $187 billion in 2017, following a recession-impacted five-year period ending in 2012 in which sales were projected to drop by 2.8 percent per year. The more optimistic outlook is based on falling unemployment and on signs of renewal in the housing market, particularly in new construction, Jose said.

Menards’ decision to build larger “mega-stores” are part of the company’s strategy to compete aggressively against Home Depot and Lowe’s, Jose said.

Home Depot has captured about 41 percent of the national market, while Lowe’s has a nearly 33 percent market share, Jose said. Menards, with only a fraction of the stores of the two industry leaders, has captured nearly 5 percent of the national market while competing in only 14 states, mostly in the Midwest. In southwest and west-central Ohio, Menards operates stores in Tipp City in Miami County and in Fairfield Twp. in Butler County, as well as in Sidney, Celina and Lima.

The size of the average Menards has grown in recent years from 74,000 square feet to 162,000 square feet, Jose said. With a more varied selection and larger inventory in its larger stores, Menards can source products and raw materials at lower prices, boosting its ability to compete more effectively against the industry leaders, the industry analyst said.

Bill Hamilton, general manager of the Miami Twp. Menards, said Tuesday that his store will stock about 60,000 items, “everything from light bulbs to a complete house package” that include all of the materials needed to build a home from the ground up.

Despite multiple requests for employment numbers, neither Hamilton nor Menards spokesman John Leonauskas could provide provide an estimate or a range of the number of people the Miami Twp. store will employ. A typical Menards store, Leonauskas said, “will employ hundreds.” Leonauskas said he had no information as to whether Menards is considering any other store locations in the Dayton area.

The Miami Twp. Menards store will open at 6:30 a.m. Sept. 18. The hours going forward will be Monday through Saturday 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

CEO: West Carrollton has ‘largest and most advanced’ spinal factory

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 12:41 PM

Examples of NuVasive handiwork in the lobby of the company’s West Carrollton facility. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Examples of NuVasive handiwork in the lobby of the company’s West Carrollton facility. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

The chairman and chief executive of NuVasive Inc., Greg Lucier, on Wednesday declared the company’s West Carrollton facility the “largest and most advanced spine medical device factory in the world.”

The plant on Liberty Lane is also “the finest factory I have ever been associated with,” Lucier said.

The plant is a former Motoman robotics factory. In 2013, NuVasive acquired ANZ Manufacturing, which led to the acquisition of a site in Fairborn off Xenia Drive. That was an early step in the opening of the West Carrollton plant.

WORKERS OF TOMORROWManufacturers desperate for workers of the future

Then NuVasive leaders decided to have the company perform more of its own manufacturing.

“We looked at doing it outside the United States, honestly,” the CEO said. “We looked at different states other than Ohio.”

West Carrollton was just chosen some 18 months ago, and today, there are 135 employees at the site, with 100 still in Fairborn, waiting to be transferred to West Carrollton by year’s end, said Suzanne Hatcher, a spokeswoman for NuVasive.

And there are still 35 job openings to fill.

While the company did not allow photographs on its manufacturing floor during Wednesday’s grand opening event, the tour did show that NuVasive has plenty of room to grow. Steve Rosow, vice president of global operations at NuVasive, wouldn’t commit to higher employment numbers, but he said the site will have 100 “high-tech pieces of equipment” by the end of 2017. About 60 percent of that is in place today.

“This is just amazing, what you’ve done here,” West Carrollton Mayor Jeff Sanner told NuVasive leaders.

The company prides itself on creating flawless pieces and instruments that can be customized to individual human bodies.

“We engage with the bones, basically,” Rosow said. “Because of that, there are a lot of pieces and parts, and people come in all different kinds of sizes.”

That ability to customize “is really a manufacturer’s dream,” he added. “It’s not the same thing, day in and day out. It’s a lot of different stuff that you have to produce and put care into — and master.”

The company normally works with titanium and a high-performance polymer Rosow called “peek.”

Rather than focusing on making as many products as quickly as possible, the company has crafted a manufacturing process that allows it to focus on small batches, producing only what is needed for that day’s sales.

Dill pickle pretzels? Auntie Anne’s choosing next pretzel flavor

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 9:52 AM

CONTRIBUTED
CONTRIBUTED

Auntie Anne’s is unveiling its newest menu item, and wants its fans to choose the next flavor.

The soft pretzel franchise is asking the public to decide which salty, sweet or spicy pretzel will be available at Auntie Anne’s stores nationwide. Fans can vote now through July 30 at www.pretzelnationcreation.com.

“Since Auntie Anne’s opened in 1988, we’ve been raising the standard of snacking with our delicious hand-rolled pretzel options,” said Carol Pasquariello, vice president of marketing for Auntie Anne’s. “We couldn’t be more excited to offer our pretzel connoisseurs a brand-new reason to love Auntie Anne’s with a flavor chosen specifically by them.”

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The choices include:

• Apple Pie: Conjuring thoughts of holiday happiness, this tart is as American as the real thing.

• Chocolate Cherry: Fruity, fudgy goodness – what could be better?

• Maple Brown Sugar: Tastes like breakfast, but not so sticky.

• S’mores: Skip the bonfire and enjoy with each tasty, marshmallow-y bite.

• Pink Lemonade: A refreshing, tangy treat — no summer day or straw required.

• Sriracha: A savory pretzel that’s oh-so-hot in the best possible way.

• Taco: Move over steak, chicken and fish, the pretzel taco is the new craze.

• Korean BBQ: Smoky bites so good, this pretzel tastes like it was marinated for hours and hours.

• Dill Pickle: Add a crunchy dill punch to your pretzel.

• Buffalo Wing: A zingy taste that could be enjoyed from Buffalo to San Diego and everywhere in between.

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First Financial Bank merges with MainSource Bank in Ohio, other states

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 8:29 AM
Updated: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 8:47 AM

Claude E. Davis will transition into the role of Executive Chairman. CONTRIBUTED
Claude E. Davis will transition into the role of Executive Chairman. CONTRIBUTED

First Financial Bancorp and MainSource Financial Group have agreed to partner to form a new bank in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

The merger combines the two Midwest community banks to create a $13 billion institution with “scale and strength in commercial and retail banking, wealth management and specialty finance,” a company statement said.

Under the merger agreement, shareholders of MainSource will receive 1.39 common shares of First Financial common stock for each share of MainSource common stock, according to the company. The transaction is valued at approximately $1 billion.

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At closing, First Financial shareholders will own approximately 63 percent of the combined company and MainSource shareholders will open approximately 37 percent. The merger will also result in a combined company with approximately $13.3 billion in assets, $8.9 billion in loans and $4 billion in assets under management.

“By taking the best of both banks, we believe that the combined company will be even more effective in meeting the lending, economic development and financial education needs of the communities we serve,” said Claude Davis, chief executive officer of First Financial.

Davis will transition into the role of executive chairman and Archie Brown will serve as president and chief executive officer of the merged entity.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2018, pending the approval of shareholders of both First Financial and MainSource and regulatory approvals. The combined company will operate as First Financial and its headquarters will be located in Cincinnati.

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Chinese learn Wright assembly from local craftsmen

Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 8:45 PM

Nick Engler, director of the Wright Brothers Aeroplane Co. in West Milton, recently returned from China, where he and his crew taught the creators of a planned Chinese museum on aviation history how to assemble a Wright Flyer replica. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Thomas Gnau/Staff
Nick Engler, director of the Wright Brothers Aeroplane Co. in West Milton, recently returned from China, where he and his crew taught the creators of a planned Chinese museum on aviation history how to assemble a Wright Flyer replica. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF(Thomas Gnau/Staff)

A small town Miami Valley business is creating what could become the most viewed collection of Wright Brother replica aircraft in the world.

That collection won’t be anywhere near Dayton, though. It will be in China.

In late 2015, Dayton-based Wright Brothers USA — the world’s only licensor of the Wright Brothers trademark — announced the sale of a pair of complete sets of Wright replica aircraft to planned museums in China for nearly $1 million.

Disassembled pieces and components of the aircraft were first sent to China in late 2015/early 2016, and there they waited for a suitable home. Nick Engler, director of Wright Brothers Aeroplane Co. in West Milton, recently returned from Chengdu, Sichuan, where he and his crew showed his Chinese hosts how to painstakingly assemble the hand-crafted planes.

Once properly displayed, the replica aircraft are expected to be seen by millions of visitors each year in an area that already is a tourist destination.

The assembly of the planes by Ohio workers last month was a media event in China.

“I can tell you the reception (in China) was both amazing and extremely stressful,” Engler said.

“We had an amazing amount of work to do in two and one-half weeks,” he added. “It was a blur.”

“This was a national story for them,” said Doug Knopp, creative director and partner at Wright Brothers USA. “The Chinese revere the Wright Brothers.”

The museum set will include full-size and test-flown replicas of the 1905 and 1903 Wright flyers, an 1899 kite, glider-replicas from 1900-1902, flight simulators and a wind tunnel.

The handiwork of Engler and his team dates back to before the 2003 Centennial of Flight celebration in Dayton. Several pieces have toured the U.S., Canada, India and France. People can see an Engler-built flyer replica at the Dayton International Airport today.

The companies’ Chinese client is an entertainment and cultural conglomerate planning a sprawling complex of aviation-themed exhibits, dubbed the “AVIWORLD Theme Park.”

The Chengdu site is set to open in 2018. Wright Brothers USA brokered the deal.

“These are not just museums,” Knopp said. “They are entire communities built around aviation, mixed-use developments.”