Hi Everyone:  

When you enter the forum, click on the Ad--MENARDS, and you will bring up there site.  You will see a new building offered (which I have already bought) SKU  279-5518 called the TIDE SOAP COMPANY.  If you know anything about TIDE SOAP, it is the flagship product that Procter and Gamble of Cincinnati, Ohio brought out many years ago.  It is the best selling laundry soap on the market today!  Why am I interested in Tide Soap?  I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I lived in an area of Cincy close to the Procter and Gamble Company and went past that huge manufacturing complex.  The company was located in an area called Ivorydale.  They made TIDE SOAP and many other P&G Products such as Crest Toothpaste, Secret Deodorant, etc.  When I attended the University of Cincinnati, our class visited P&G in the Vine Street Plant and watched them pack, in 1 hours time, a family of 4, enough Crest Toothpaste (medium size) to last them 60 years.

The soap plant on Spring Grove Ave was huge and also made Ivory Soap, Tide and others.  Today, the plants name is called "The St. Bernard Soap Factory".  I am not sure what "soap" is made at this plant but it is still active.  The name of Procter and Gamble has disappeared off of the building.  In another part of this plant, Smuckers Jellies is operating making there famous jellies.  

The plant on Vine Street  was the toiletry division and made Crest, Secret Deodorant, etc.  Today.  the toiletry division is gone and there sits a huge empty building and a very large conveyor that use to move there products to a rail yard across the street.  Most Procter and Gamble Products are made in other areas of the USA.  

In downtown Cincinnati, Ohio,  we have this huge double building known as the Procter & Gamble Building.  There is another P&G Building located in Mason, Ohio (North of Cincinnati, Ohio) that does research on new products.

So, MENARDS has brought out this Soap Factory and of course I bought it.  It is certainly not the size of the real P&G Ivorydale Plant but it sure brings back memories to me.

Right now, Menards is offering a 11% rebate on this building. 

MENARDS Tide Soap Company  SKU 279-5518.  Right now, the Price is  $99.99 - $11 rebate which equals a discount price of $88.99.  The soap company is a few stories tall, with large tanks that read Tide Soap on them, a couple of workers, and 2  Animated LED Tide Signs.  I do not think Erics Trains (on YouTube) has gotten his Tide Soap Factory -- yet.  If you follow Eric Siegel on You Tube, he has reviewed quite a few of Menards Products.

Sincerely yours,    railbear601

 

  

 

     

Last edited by railbear601
Original Post

During the past Atlas reefer boom, l hunted historical billboard cars with the hope l'd find one that could be modeled (just found one), but l visited P&G downtown Cincy HQ, twice, and met a very gracious marketing  manager who approved such a project.  When l researched the several interesting and different P&G railcars used for their products, all l found were unique and none were a standard reefer that Atlas had a mold for.  So l had to inform P&G l could not get them made.  Very disappointing.

Anytime Menards does the guessing game. I am always hoping for a building. They are just so well done. I just bought another one on Saturday with the power supply and spliters. Keep them comming' John

@railbear601 posted:
... Proctor and Gamble of Cincinnati, Ohio...
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I lived in an area of Cincy close to the Proctor and Gamble Company...
The name of Proctor and Gamble has disappeared off of the building....

Most Proctor and Gamble Products are made in other areas of the USA... 


 

  

Since you were born and raised in Cincinnati, you should know that it's Procter & Gamble, not Proctor & Gamble.

@railbear601 posted:

Hi Everyone:  

When you enter the forum, click on the Ad--MENARDS, and you will bring up there site.  You will see a new building offered (which I have already bought) SKU  279-5518 called the TIDE SOAP COMPANY.  If you know anything about TIDE SOAP, it is the flagship product that Proctor and Gamble of Cincinnati, Ohio brought out many years ago.  It is the best selling laundry soap on the market today!  Why am I interested in Tide Soap?  I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I lived in an area of Cincy close to the Proctor and Gamble Company and went past that huge manufacturing complex.  The company was located in an area called Ivorydale.  They made TIDE SOAP and many other P&G Products such as Crest Toothpaste, Secret Deodorant, etc.  When I attended the University of Cincinnati, our class visited P&G in the Vine Street Plant and watched them pack, in 1 hours time, a family of 4, enough Crest Toothpaste (medium size) to last them 60 years.

The soap plant on Spring Grove Ave was huge and also made Ivory Soap, Tide and others.  Today, the plants name is called "The St. Bernard Soap Factory".  I am not sure what "soap" is made at this plant but it is still active.  The name of Proctor and Gamble has disappeared off of the building.  In another part of this plant, Smuckers Jellies is operating making there famous jellies.  

The plant on Vine Street  was the toiletry division and made Crest, Secret Deodorant, etc.  Today.  the toiletry division is gone and there sits a huge empty building and a very large conveyor that use to move there products to a rail yard across the street.  Most Proctor and Gamble Products are made in other areas of the USA.  

In downtown Cincinnati, Ohio,  we have this huge double building known as the Proctor & Gamble Building.  There is another P&G Building located in Mason, Ohio (North of Cincinnati, Ohio) that does research on new products.

So, MENARDS has brought out this Soap Factory and of course I bought it.  It is certainly not the size of the real P&G Ivorydale Plant but it sure brings back memories to me.

Right now, Menards is offering a 11% rebate on this building. 

MENARDS Tide Soap Company  SKU 279-5518.  Right now, the Price is  $99.99 - $11 rebate which equals a discount price of $88.99.  The soap company is a few stories tall, with large tanks that read Tide Soap on them, a couple of workers, and 2  Animated LED Tide Signs.  I do not think Erics Trains (on YouTube) has gotten his Tide Soap Factory -- yet.  If you follow Eric Siegel on You Tube, he has reviewed quite a few of Menards Products.

Sincerely yours,    railbear601

 

  

 

     

This is very interesting and had no idea about the back story about Tide. Thanks for sharing it! Also, Eric has gotten both the factory and a fire station before the factory was revealed. He has not made a video yet but I will later this week. I will say it is debated that his sneak peeks lead to Menards not revealing it sooner. Ow well hope you all have a good day and here is one of my Menards product reviews.

@railbear601 posted:
MENARDS Tide Soap Company  SKU 279-5518.  Right now, the Price is  $99.99 - $11 rebate which equals a discount price of $88.99. 

Since the discount is useless to anyone not close to a Menard's location, that leaves about 95% of the country out of any discount.

Hello Again:  You can call any Menards Store in this country and order the TIDE SOAP COMPANY or anything else they have in there warehouse in Wisconsin.  I do this all the time at my Florence Store.  If you do it right now, you will receive a bill in the mail that you paid your $89.99 (11% rebate) and they will send you a rebate slip along with the bill the rebate amount on the cash registar slip they send to you.  Menards will ship your order by U S Mail if you live too far from the store.  BTW Menards does not ship to California because some of the stuff in there products is Carcinogenic .

 Sincerely yours,  railbear601

I have the Morton Salt Company,  Pepsi Company,  Schneider Freight Company, The Dog Food Company, the Double Span Bridge, American Products Company and of course there great Illuminated Billboards (2 of them).  These things are great

Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER

Hi Again:  To clarify the above response blog --- When you order on-line or by telephone, you pay for the full price on your charge card or check.  Then Menards will send you a complete bill for $99.99 and cash register receipt showing you paid for the item.  On that receipt will be printed the rebate amount on it which you mail back to Menards.  Yes, it sounds complicated but all you have to do is request extra rebate forms from the order clerk.  

To find out if the 11% rebate is running, just look at Menards Ad in OGR Forum each time and you will see the complete train line and the prices.........   

Just to clarify, are you saying that if you initially buy a product on-line from Menards.com and get an 11%  rebate slip, the next time you decide to buy a Menard's product, you can just telephone the nearest Menard's store and order the product (assuming they have it in stock at the store or can get it) and the store will accept the rebate slip and apply it to the purchase price and then ship the new product to you for the same cost as Menards.com ?

 

You can fill out the rebate form and get a rebate in the mail BUT you cannot use the rebate on line. You must use it in the store.

Lets get this rebate business straight!   If you order on-line or call a Menards Store and it is a 11% rebate day.  You give the order taker the SKU Number, your name and address, etc,  plus your credit card number and they will ring up your order (i.e. the Menards Cashier).  She or he will send to you in the mail, your Bill, the cash register receipt which has the amount of the rebate on it -- the amount of the rebate is the last thing on the cash register receipt.  You take your scissors and cut this last piece of the receipt off and fill out the rebate form and put this in an envelope mailing it to REBATE OFFER,  PO BOX 155,  ELK MOUND, WISCONSIN 54739-0155.  MENARDS will send to you in 1 or 2 weeks a post-card listing the amount of the rebate.  You can send in as many rebates that you have accumulated in one envelope to Menards.  YES!  YOU MUST USE THIS REBATE CARD Menards sends you in one of there stores (as cash).  YOU CANNOT SEND IN OR CALL THE STORE FOR A NEW ORDER AND USE THE REBATE POST CARD.  The rebate card is to be used on your next trip to a Menards Store as CASH, and you must use the total amount on the card -- no cash back.   Yes, it is a Gimmick to make you come back and shop at Menards.   But folks, since I have spent over $1500 dollars on Train Stuff from Menards, and have gotten over $300 dollars in rebates.  I am doing pretty good and my train stuff is dirt cheap. 

One other thing.  If you cannot get to the store to pick up your train stuff, you can have Menards mail it to you for an additional charge. 

SO--THE REBATES are a special side bonus to MENARDS and the rebate post-card sent to your house is to be used at one of there stores.  These post-cards have no expiration dates.  They cannot be used on your next order unless you are IN THE STORE.   And if you are in the store, sign up for a MENARDS Big Red Credit Card and when you use it IN THE STORE -- you instantaneously get 2% more off of your order.   Again, this is a SIDE OFFER being offered by CAPITAL ONE BANK for MENARDS.  Some people save thousands of dollars in discounts from Menards because they are people who own small companies, etc.  I SHALL REPEAT AGAIN, DOES ANY BIG BOX STORE LIKE LOWES, HOME DEPOT, HARBOR FREIGHT. BEST BUY, SAMS, & COSCO,  GIVE YOU DISCOUNTS ON WHAT YOU BUY?........LIKE MENARDS..........enjoy your trains

Sincerely yours         railbear601

So, how much more shilling are you going to do for Menards? 

Everybody here is aware of how Menards works, whether it's the periodical 11% off offers, fill the bag or the mail in rebates.  These programs have also been discussed here many times over.

And for the record, I like my local Menards.  I prefer it over the closer Home Depot, but not for the reasons you may think.

Rusty

Personally, I lost what was what. All I know is they make great train products and, I think I can say, we all enjoy them.

My final idea on Menards.  I did not do my blogs on Menards to rub it into the faces of those people who do not have one of his stores near you.  For that, I apologize. It is with great hope, that Menards will open more stores in the near future.   Sincerely yours,   railbear601 

We occasionally travel from Arkansas (where there are no Menards stores but PLENTY of Walmarts) to Illinois to visit family. We usually stop along the way at a Menard's store (and Steak N Shake), and I'll visit the train section.  I have a Menard's Electric Generating Station; it's re-purposed as an oil pipeline terminal near the oil field on my layout. I also have their Train Store.  I like their use of lighting and animated signage.

Thankfully, Menard's doesn't "copycat" buildings previously made famous by Lionel or MTH.  Their iconic dog is a "trademark" of sorts. 

Mike Mottler

Last edited by Mike H Mottler

We occasionally travel from Arkansas (where there are no Menards stores but PLENTY of Walmarts) to Illinois to visit family. We usually stop along the way at a Menard's store (and Steak N Shake), and I'll visit the train section.  I have a Menard's Electric Generating Station; it's re-purposed as an oil pipeline terminal near the oil field on my layout. I also have their Train Store.  I like their use of lighting and animated signage.

Thankfully, Menard's doesn't "copycat" buildings previously made famous by Lionel or MTH.  Their iconic dog is a "trademark" of sorts. 

Mike Mottler

We have family in Indiana and pass five or six on the way. We leave the rebates with the family to spend at the Menards in their hometown.  Pat B.

They really need to join the 21st century.  But to be fair they are not the only ones.  Big-box stores like BJ's and Sam's Club still insist on either physical coupons or make you preregister a coupon online before you get the discount.  Only Costco has decided that the customers are king and just applies any discount/sale that exists automatically at check out.

@railbear601 posted:

…. Why am I interested in Tide Soap?  I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I lived in an area of Cincy close to the Procter and Gamble Company and went past that huge manufacturing complex.  The company was located in an area called Ivorydale.  …. 

I also grew up near a huge P&G complex … across the water from their Staten Island, NY "Port Ivory" location.

In addition to Tide and Ivory and everything else, they also made "Duncan Hines" cake mix there. What a sweet aroma filled the area around that building. lol

Last edited by EBT Jim
@railbear601 posted:

 ...snip... YES!  YOU MUST USE THIS REBATE CARD Menards sends you in one of there stores (as cash).  YOU CANNOT SEND IN OR CALL THE STORE FOR A NEW ORDER AND USE THE REBATE POST CARD. ...snip...

Which makes it totally useless to me as the nearest Menard's is only 425 miles from my place. And any rebates would probably expire before I could get there; once a year in November. However, I will order online for delivery to that store.

I find Menard's products intriguing and fun, but their ordering process Byzantine. There were upsale charges in my cart (some sort of processing fee to actually pull items from the shelves?) and the rebate is useless to me. Then shipping. I've ordered from them, but it is more complicated than it needs to be IMHO. And I object to the handling charge for mail order.  But, it is what it is.

I’m putting this out here only for conversation sake, I have no internal knowledge of the Menards operation. Also, I am surrounded by Menards, so I do not and have not had to mail order anything Menards has to offer.

 

Has anyone ever thought that “mail order” dollars are just not that important to Menards? Realistically speaking, how much big box hardware store items do you mail order during the course of a year?

In my case, I figure out my project (or usually emergency), and if time is available, shop Menards, Lowes and Home Depot. My bet is many of you are in the same situation, shop in person for the actual hardware items you may need.

Also consider, many big box stores have “loss leaders”, meaning an item(s) are sold at or near a loss to gain foot traffic “into” a store in hopes that other, higher margin items will also be purchased. In the case of mail order, what is the incentive to move “loss leaders” to a group of buyers that will not enter the store? Yes, some may buy an additional item, but if I was a betting man, I would think the percentage is extremely small.

So, before we find fault with the Menards operation, consider that they are not shrinking and probably expanding in an otherwise very competitive business sector.

 

Enjoy your Menards purchases because I’m sure you will not like the alternative.

 

Charlie

We occasionally travel from Arkansas (where there are no Menards stores but PLENTY of Walmarts) to Illinois to visit family. We usually stop along the way at a Menard's store (and Steak N Shake), and I'll visit the train section.  I have a Menard's Electric Generating Station; it's re-purposed as an oil pipeline terminal near the oil field on my layout. I also have their Train Store.  I like their use of lighting and animated signage.

Thankfully, Menard's doesn't "copycat" buildings previously made famous by Lionel or MTH.  Their iconic dog is a "trademark" of sorts. 

Mike Mottler

Steak N Shake would be a nice building addition to the Menards line up.

Mail order may not be that important. With Menards, it's almost as if they don't want to do mail order. I know of no business that does mail order and charges you an upcharge to shop that way. Like I said, when I want something I buy it there and it has to be mail order because there are no Menards stores within hundreds of miles. I guess I'd prefer they just built their costs into their shipping charges,which is what I'm sure other businesses do with mail order, rather than this charge that makes me feel like they really don't want my business. Bottom line--if they are trying to discourage mail order, I'm sure other people besides me are put off by the useless rebates and the upcharge for pulling items off the shelves. I just don't think it's very inviting for a customer. But they must have their reasons, and probably could care less what I think about it!

@PRRMP54 posted:

Which makes it totally useless to me as the nearest Menard's is only 425 miles from my place. And any rebates would probably expire before I could get there; once a year in November. However, I will order online for delivery to that store.

The rebate checks have no expiration date.

@pdxtrains posted:

Mail order may not be that important. With Menards, it's almost as if they don't want to do mail order. I know of no business that does mail order and charges you an upcharge to shop that way. Like I said, when I want something I buy it there and it has to be mail order because there are no Menards stores within hundreds of miles. I guess I'd prefer they just built their costs into their shipping charges,which is what I'm sure other businesses do with mail order, rather than this charge that makes me feel like they really don't want my business. Bottom line--if they are trying to discourage mail order, I'm sure other people besides me are put off by the useless rebates and the upcharge for pulling items off the shelves. I just don't think it's very inviting for a customer. But they must have their reasons, and probably could care less what I think about it!

It’s almost as if Menards is a 15-state, 350-store expanding home improvement chain that sells mostly bulky items (that most online buyers avoid because of the shipping costs) and deals heavily with local building contractors, has a huge lumberyard and essentially only makes and stocks trains because its founder is a train enthusiast.

John Menard is 80 years old. He doesn’t manage the company day-to-day anymore but has convinced the executives who do to allow him to manage this train line as long as it doesn’t interfere with the company’s main operations. After John is gone, it’s highly unlikely Menards will continue the product line. And it’s highly unlikely Menards is going to change its rebate program because a bunch of hobby-focused train guys think it should.

One more time.  Menards is not making train stuff for the money. It has $10 billion in revenue annually. Train sales account for a fraction of 1 percent of its sales — very likely a small fraction. Very small.

I would bet those executives have spent a lot more time deciding what works best for the company and have succeeded, unlike other major retailers who are closing stores everywhere or going out of business completely.

Last edited by Jim R.

Am I reading you right, Jim R?  You think the owner and founder has to "answer" to the executives about the train line of products offered by his company ?  You make it sound as if he's some doddering old fool in a corner they yes to death while they do what they want.  I'd I assume the man hasn't sold his interest in his own company.  That said, he could expand the line if he so desired and those executives would have to comply or find another company to work for.  Emphasis on work "for".    

Last edited by BwanaBob
@BwanaBob posted:

Am I reading you right, Jim R?  You think the owner and founder has to "answer" to the executives about the train line of products offered by his company ?  You make it sound as if he's some doddering old fool in a corner they yes to death while they do what they want.  I'd I assume the man hasn't sold his interest in his own company.  That said, he could expand the line if he so desired and those executives would have to comply or find another company to work for.  Emphasis on work "for".    

As Mark the Menards Train Guy posted here on the forum several years ago, yes. The train line was approved as long as it doesn’t interfere with the company’s normal business line. 

John Menard has enough pull in the privately held company he founded to start a train line. He doesn’t have enough pull to do whatever he wants without the backing of the company as a whole if it would result in a decrease in profit margin impacting the other shareholders.

That’s the way privately held businesses with numerous shareholders work.

Last edited by Jim R.

I did not know privately held companies could work that way.  I would have thought the majority stake holder would be the owner and that their word would be the law of the company.  No one forces anyone to be a junior partner, and to give them any veto power seems crazy to me.

Last edited by BwanaBob
@BwanaBob posted:

I did not know privately held companies could work that way.  I would have thought the majority stake holder would be the owner and that their word would be the law of the company.  No one forces anyone to be a junior partner, and to give them any veto power seems crazy to me.

Privately held, not publicly traded. And there is no “junior partner.” This isn’t a partnership company, like a law firm.

The company has a board of directors. That’s who runs the company. You need to study business a little more to understand the dynamics.

@BwanaBob posted:

I did not know privately held companies could work that way.  I would have thought the majority stake holder would be the owner and that their word would be the law of the company.  No one forces anyone to be a junior partner, and to give them any veto power seems crazy to me.

A founder may have absolute power and influence over a small company, but not one with $10B in revenues.

When a founder turns over the keys of a company to a new CEO, the founder's power and influence is diminished.  The real power lies with the Board of Directors.

Rusty

Being from the northeast, I hadn't even heard of Menards until I saw them mentioned often on this site.  So out of curiosity I Googled the largest Home Improvement retailers. #1: Home Depot- $108B in sales, #2: Lowes- 73B,  #3: Menards- 10B, #4: Tractor Supply- $8B, #5: 84 Lumber 4B. Big business!

For comparison Walmart- 514B.

I can certainly understand from a marketing perspective that if you order on-line and live within, let's say 100 miles of the nearest store, Menard's would want to get you to come to the store by only allowing the rebate to be used as an in-store merchandise credit.

However, living in Boston, I feel like a second-class customer as I'll never have an opportunity to use any rebate in-store and that always leaves a bad taste in my mouth - that I'm the one being penalized because the company I bought product from doesn't have a brick 'n mortar store within 750 miles of me and won't let me use the rebate towards my next on-line purchase.  That's why, at this point, I only buy an item if it also comes with a free gift that I can use on my layout or give to a train friend.

Here's a potential solution - Menards could easily implement a program whereby, if you order a train product on-line at menards.com and the customer's shipping address is more than 250 miles from the nearest physical Menards' store, make the 11% rebate a merchandise credit that can be used by the consumer either in-store or towards their next on-line purchase.

Yes, it would cost a little time and money on their part to implement such a program and, yes, the potential exists for fraud and abuse (although, really, who's going to bother to order a $100 item and have it shipped to a relative's far-away address and then shipped back , just to save $11), but in the long run it will result in many more satisfied customers who will be ordering more and more on-line product with their rebates.  

 

@Richie C. posted:

Here's a potential solution - Menards could easily implement a program whereby, if you order a train product on-line at menards.com and the customer's shipping address is more than 250 miles from the nearest physical Menards' store, make the 11% rebate a merchandise credit that can be used by the consumer either in-store or towards their next on-line purchase.

 

 

It's not going to happen.  The rebate coupon program is specifically designed to drive foot traffic back to the stores.  Period.

Rusty

Maybe not - they can do what they want, but then that's on them.

Giving in-store only rebates to on-line consumers who live more than 500 miles from a store does zero to their goal of driving foot traffic to their stores.

My solution does not detract from their goal of driving foot traffic to their stores for people who can actually get there and has little, if any, down-side towards that goal and a positive up-side.

Last edited by Richie C.
@Richie C. posted:

Maybe not - they can do what they want, but then that's on them.

Giving in-store only rebates to on-line consumers who live more than 500 miles from a store does zero to their goal of driving foot traffic to their stores.

My solution does not detract from their goal of driving foot traffic to their stores for people who can actually get there and has little, if any, down-side towards that goal and a positive up-side.

As you said, they can do what they want.  That's the bottom line.

I don't think the operating officers (or the Man himself) are losing any sleep over a couple of distraught model railroaders.

Menards has been making train stuff for around a decade and people have been complaining about how the rebate program works since then.  The rebate program is store wide and I don't see them losing any business because of it.

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque

You're right - it just seems that there's a viable solution out there that retains their goals and still allows on-line consumers some relief.

Reminds me of how Coors used to restrict beer sales east of the Mississippi just because - well, they could.

@Richie C. posted:

You're right - it just seems that there's a viable solution out there that retains their goals and still allows on-line consumers some relief.

 

It all boils down to 4 little words: They Don't Want To.

Once again, the way the rebate coupon program is handled is not due to a programmers or management oversight.  It's by design.

Rusty

I believe John is still the CEO, and can still be called the owner, by virtue of his shares in the company. (The term is a generic one and hardly official corporate-speak, in precise terms.) But, he’s more of an overseer now who works with an executive team.

For the record, Menard has a full-bodied personality and is first and foremost a businessman. He can be controversial, like many a business leader, but his tenacious tendencies is what led to his train line. He is also the one who demands top customer service, something which I’m told he still plays an active role.

And he looks pretty good for 80 years old. I’d love to have another conversation with him, but I’m certain he would never tell me anything he doesn’t want anyone outside the company to know. 

I have bought many of the Menards buildings in both O and ho for my layouts. I have found them to be well built, nicely detailed and great looking. 

Living on the east coast is that I can't use the discounts that Menards but guess what, I don't care. I really like the buildings and will continue to order the ones I want despite not be able to use the 11 percent savings. Imo it is worth it. 

Dave

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