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Old 02-19-2004, 10:17 AM   #15
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It is apparent to me that the difference is local operation - which probably means the local store management.

We have both a Lowes and HD within a mile of each other. The HD is better located, but Lowes easily does twice the business (judging by the parking lots).

As far as our local situation goes, I dislike Lowes, but loath HD.

Mark
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Old 02-19-2004, 10:46 AM   #16
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Red and yellow?

We don't have any Lowes in Minnesota. But i do have three HD and two Menards within 6 miles of my house. Menards has wider selection and lower prices.

At the little shopping mall 1 mile from my house:

15 years ago:
12000 sq ft grocery store
5000 sq fr hardware store
3000 sq ft bar and burger joint
3000 sq ft auto parts store
2000 sq ft organic foods co-op

Today:
12000 sq ft grocery store, closing in March
8000 sq ft organic foods co-op and home products store
3000 sq ft burger joint
2000 sq ft hardware store
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Old 02-19-2004, 11:24 AM   #17
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Our beloved eagle hardware was sold a few years ago and taken over by Lowes. We have also have a home depot. The service is marginal and my particular pet peeve at both places is that the sales folks will ask my husband (or any other male) in the aisle if they need help but never ask me. They assume that I am along for the ride. Women apparently don't need hardware, lumber and tools. This also routinely happens at car dealers, by the way. My husband and I will go into a dealer - the vehicle purchase if for me. I'm the one asking the questions and the sales person will look directly at my husband and give him the answer to MY question. Torques me off! I guess I should stop driving, fixing things and maybe even buying tools..... sorry sweetie - I know your birthday is coming up.
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:28 PM   #18
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Oh, Janet, is that the only place you get that treatment? For YEARS my accountant would listen to my complicated questions at tax time & then address the answers to my husband. It made me crazy, but he was a good accountant. It wasn't till last year, when I showed up single & still asking questions, that Stan actually looked me in the eye and said with surprise, "You have a pretty good money mind, don't you?!"

My favorite thing about HD is the other customers. My trick, when picking up something and I'm not 100% sure of what I'm doing, is to skip the HD help altogether & go straight for the guy (or gal) in my aisle who's obviously a general contractor. They ALWAYS steer me right.
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:54 PM   #19
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Question must be crazy

Well the truth is I enjoy shopping them both and for the reasons listed above in many good posts, I good to Depot for service and selection and Lowes for looks and closeness.

I purchase mostly bigger items at these stores and have 2 fine older hardware stores for those odd items I seem to need more often. The hardware stores are not competative in price except for a few sale items but sure are more Homey that the big impersonal chains so I go there anyways....jem
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Old 02-19-2004, 01:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Janet
...my particular pet peeve at both places is that the sales folks will ask my husband (or any other male) in the aisle if they need help but never ask me.
Don't get me started! We joke that everytime I go shopping I'm looking for a weasel, because I can't find what I want, then I find a guy to ask and he looks at me like I'm asking him for a weasel. Then he asks my husband for clarification, because obviously I don't know what I'm talking about.

This is how when I went to the local auto parts store looking for a buffer to polish the AS, they questioned me and then confidently told me you can't polish an aluminum trailer and I'd better go talk to my husband about it before they would sell me anything Believe me, they don't have to worry about selling me anything now!
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Old 02-19-2004, 01:42 PM   #21
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Speaking of local hardware stores, I once had a guy refuse to sell me a chainsaw because he ran his oh-so-experienced eye over my small frame & decided I couldn't handle one & he didn't want to get sued when i cut my leg off.

Damn asshole. So I went to Home Depot where they don't dispense judgments with their tools and bought myself a chainsaw. Sheesh. That was years ago. Still walking around on both legs. Stumble once in awhile, but that ain't the chainsaw's fault.

That hardware guy woulda had himself a good ol' heart attack if he'd seen me getting off a plane in Costa Rica last winter with my worm drive, headed for a timber-framing project....
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Old 02-19-2004, 02:07 PM   #22
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I sometimes feel like I have an office at HD. But I often go to Ace Hardware, a superstore version near my house that is well organized, easy to navigate and find stuff.
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Old 02-19-2004, 03:46 PM   #23
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The thing that sets me off about both is when I bring in an old part to have as a "go by" for finding a replacement and the "helpful employee with the happy face button on" say "What's that for?" Then when I explain it's a simple household part from a 1964 vintage Airstream...they give me the "Oooohhhh, we don't have anything like that here, you'll have to get that from a dealer, hun..." routine.

I usually browse around for a bit, find what I'm looking for, then promptly march on over to the "helpful employee with the happy face button on" and show him they DO have what I'm looking for. A couple of times, I've been so offended by the way I have been treated, I just hand the part over to the "helpful employee with the happy face button on" and walk out only to go somewhere else to purchase it. Silly, I know...but at least I made my point with that one person...

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Old 02-19-2004, 03:53 PM   #24
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tsk...tsk....

shame on you,,,,dont you know that you are making geo. bush-cheny and haliburton richer by driving somewhere else?.........
tsk...tsk....
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Old 02-19-2004, 05:18 PM   #25
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Homeowners H......LL

Wow, a pet peeve of mine brought up by someone else!

Lowes and HD are really two peas in a pod. They have a unique view of what sells in my area. This provides a range of goods that astonishes me with the depth of dust on many of the items in stock. Reminds me of the old inventory adages: FIFO first in-first out, LIFO, last in-first out and Loews own FISH First in-still here! I want to purchase MDO and 5/8" white melamine. Neither Lowes or HD stocks any and neither store knew what MDO was. Once I explained (educated) what it was the response was particle board was over there. Oh Boy!

I find they carry many lines of products without really carrying all of one type or style. Plumbing is a VERY sore spot. They seem to always not carry one fitting necessary to complete a task or are out of some item (1/2" PEX tubing, 10') and never seem to be able to get in more. My favorite respose, received to a question as to when something was going to be back in stock, "We anr't gettin any more 'cuse we can't keep it in stock!" Brilliant!

Their depth of product is very poor, again in plumbing. I tend to go to both stores to complete any project, which truely annoys me. Unfortunatly, there are no small hardware stores left that will order in a timely fashion anything desired. Gone too, is the conversation and guidance said stores provided. Progress is a four letter word as far as big box marketing is concerned.

And Shari, you almost got it right. The perfect solution is to bring the item to the store manager or person in charge that day and let him (her) know they have lost more than the business of today. Remind them you know enough people that if asked about what store to shop you will not recommend them unless the service improves. That usually gets their attention. Works at Best Buy as well, another of my favorite stores to hate.
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Old 02-19-2004, 06:31 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Janet's Husband


I don't care for either one but I am stuck with them.


I'm hoping we don't end up stuck with them in our small town. Hundreds of folks here are boycotting the new Home Despot fearing it will price local suppliers and services out of business. I've joined their ranks, and no longer shop at any HD. We've already got great lumber yards, hardware stores, appliance stores, flooring installers, etc. I don't like to imagine a scenario where the livelihoods of the little guys and all of those they do business with are threatened. It isn't fair competition; it's predatory. And for what? A few years of low wage jobs and cheap sandpaper? No thanks!
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:42 PM   #27
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Wink Markdoane's Variety

Don,

"Today:
12000 sq ft grocery store, closing in March
8000 sq ft organic foods co-op and home products store
3000 sq ft burger joint
2000 sq ft hardware store"

You lament but you have perhaps the most interesting dichotomy in the Twin Cites. That Burger joint is a cardiac arrest center. There can't be a more greasier place around. Just down the way is your organic coop with all the "good" foods. Just alternate days and you can eat average.
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:53 PM   #28
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The Good Ol' Days

I mentioned earlier that when I built my home 20 years ago that I shopped the commercial lumber yards. What does that mean? Well, my local community of Excelsior, population about 3,000 people had two local lumber yards across the street from each other and a very good hardware store. Today they are gone along with the dry goods store where you could buy American made clothes and the good ol' fashion independent donut making and custom cake bakery. Times are a changin' fast.

If you are ahead of the baby boomer bulge you can probably remember when fast food didn't exist at least in the national chain variety.

There's so much more....
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