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Old 02-18-2004, 10:35 PM   #1
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Arrow Orange vs. Blue (HomeDepot vs. Lowes)

I had an interesting experience in both of these stores today and since many of us frequent one or both of them I thought a thread relating to our thoughts of one or both (or even other similar BigBox BldgMatl.outfits) would be interesting.

I do alot more business with Lowes, but it's probably just because i know my way around there better. Neither have particularly good prices except on loss leaders.
I can't begin to count the times I have been to one or the other and come away without them having what I needed.

Lowes seems to be a little less cluttered maybe the asiles are wider or the stacks are not so high or the lighting is better or some other hidden persuader. I always expect to read of someone killed by a falling pallet of cement or plywood etc.
The help at Home Depots I have used seem to be a little more informed, when you can find one of them to ask.
More guys working at HD.
I still can't get used to gals at the Lumber Yard.

I grew up in the Lumber business and worked for years in wholesale bldg materials, but I never called on the giants, just the mom & pop yards that are slowly disappearing just as my family's yards did.

Anyway I pull for Orange in Nascar. Tony Stewart over Jimmy Johnson (Blue).

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Old 02-18-2004, 11:05 PM   #2
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I prefer Lowes, where I have a better chance of finding that odd right-handed-stainless-steel-metric cap screw (or whatever) At HD, IF you can find such special fittings, you have to buy a whole box of them. While I'm there at Lowes, I figure I might as well buy a couple of hundred dollars worth of other stuff, and then another fifty dollars for something to keep it organized.

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Old 02-18-2004, 11:31 PM   #3
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I prefer Lowes, where I have a better chance of finding that odd right-handed-stainless-steel-metric cap screw
I'd like to see the look on the clerk's face when you ask if he carries those!

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Old 02-18-2004, 11:57 PM   #4
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We used to live in a town with an Eagle Hardware, which I really liked. They had two whole aisles of whats-it bins, and it seemed like I could always find something to make do.

Now we mostly use HD, but only because Lowes is new to our area, and I still get lost in there. Locally I think HD has a better lumber selection. However, usually I wander through either one of these stores and still end up leaving empty handed, seems like I'm always looking for weird stuff no one locally carries, and I end up buying mail-order!

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Old 02-19-2004, 04:19 AM   #5
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I don't particularly like either one. But Lowe's is the lesser of two evils where we live. We only have one HD in driving distance and 3 Lowes. The HD is a dump, it is cluttered, disorganized and poorly stocked. Lowe's is poorly stocked but at least you can get around in it and find what they do have. We still have a couple of independant yards that are good for the odd stuff. I also use the industrial suppliers for hardware.

BTW "We want to Race the Truck" Go Big Brown!

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Old 02-19-2004, 05:46 AM   #6
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No Lowes in Minnesota Yet...

so I can't make direct comparisons on a personal basis. We do have Menards, a similar bigbox home store to compete with Home Depot. My experience is probably 20 years out of date but when I was building my timber frame home I tended to ignore the bigbox residential retailers and shop the commercial yards.

Tony Stewart vs. Jimmie Johnson. Both Chevys. But I must stick with the Hoosier. I've always been a Tony Stewart fan.
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Old 02-19-2004, 05:51 AM   #7
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Against the norm

Well you know me, It seems that I am always odd man out.

Between my job and my Airstreaming, I spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars year in these lumber malls.

By far, ten times, I prefer HD. You can almost never get any help in Lowes. I usually know more about what I am looking for than the reps in lowes. You have to beg them to come and help you.

In HD, they meet you at the door, there is a rep that is typically an ex-contractor and professional that knows his area well.
They are always asking if they can help you, at lowes, they will walk right past you.

I will in a pinch, (HD does not have it), go to Lowes. I find that HD is typically lower on prices. Lowes does have more appliances and housewares than HD whereas, HD is primarily a hardware store.

I will say one thing for Lowes, their lumber is a better grade than HDs but their prices reflect that also. I guess you get what you pay for.

one more thing, does Lowes have a paperback catalog? HD does and it comes in handy in my job, I am a project manager in a 400 million dollar government contracting firm. My biggest role is estimating and having vendor catalogs is very handy. I realize that Lowes has a website but so does HD. The websites of both typically do not list as many items as the paperback catalog.

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Old 02-19-2004, 07:46 AM   #8
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I have to drive a lot further to Lowe's, but they more often have the things I need. In the last short while, I have gone to Lowe's for PEX and oak dimension stock, neither of which our local HD carries.

Lowe's is a lot less cuttered and the aisles are wider. Also, Lowe's is a lot less crowded most of the time so that I can get in and out.

We will soon have a Lowe's a quarter-mile closer to me than HD. Whoopee!
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:56 AM   #9
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Just two miles away, I've got Orange on one side of the intersection and Blue on the other. I think it all depends on what you're looking for. If I'm confused and need help, HD is usually more knowledgeable. (It's also on the side of the busy intersection that I don't have to wait for the light on!)

Garden stuff, our HD has more selection and lower prices.

Lawnmowing equipment? I like the International Cub Cadets that Lowes carries.

Sure is nice to have them both available ... I would miss either one if they were gone.
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Old 02-19-2004, 08:18 AM   #10
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I don't have a Lowes .. but do have a Home Depot about 3 miles from my house. I go there only if I have to.

I prefer to spend my money at the old local hardware store in the middle of town ... just a few blocks from my house ... it's an old brick building with wood floors ... been there since 1923.

Always greeted at the door ... always escorted to the spot that has what I'm looking for. Then I spend the next 15 minutes jawin' with the clerk and some crusty old rancher about the weather or trucks or high school sports.

Now that's a hardware store.
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Old 02-19-2004, 08:21 AM   #11
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We have both in our town and they are a show case for what is wrong with todays business model.
All Profit and no Heart.

I don't care for either one but I am stuck with them.
Customer service is a by gone pledge, and if you can find someone they have little knowlage of the subject.

The product quality (wood, electrical) is third rate at best.

I'm sorry to sound so down on these people. I know there are individuals who work at the stores who care, but usually company policies stop them from providing good service.

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Old 02-19-2004, 08:49 AM   #12
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I certainly prefer Lowe's as well. Its a longer drive for me but I agree that Lowes seems to be well stock and the people who work there actually know something about the products.

I was in HD two nights ago and had to walk ten aisles on both side before I found an HD employee. Then they didn't know what I was talking about so they sent me to the paint dept. The paint guys sent me to building supplies, but no one was working building supplies.

Lowes seems to have more products, better selection and more knowledgable people. Maybe thats why they have a same store growth of 5% per year while HD is stuck with 0%.

Turns out they are converting a run down mall near our house with a Super Wal Mart and a Lowes. There's already a new Target there. If they would just put a NAPA in I would have everything I needed restore my AS in their parking lot! (While I camped there for a month with the jacks down and the lawn furniture out!)

But - if I need that special bolt or tool I always go to my local hardware store first. They greet me at the door and take me right to what I need. And they like my AS project so they alway offer up advice and ideas.
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Old 02-19-2004, 08:59 AM   #13
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South Carolina Shines

You know, I am glad this issue came up.

I often am a little scrutinous and skeptical of the surveys that list charleston SC as one of the friendliest and well mannered places in America, Typically in the top three spots, (I am not making this up), I believe this year we re-captured the top slot after slipping to second or third last year.

I am shocked to hear that a person had to walk ten aisles, (dont doubt you story), to get help. I know this from repeated instances, If I walk to electrical section and ask for plumbing parts, the rep will walk me over to the plumbing section and or call a plumbing rep to help me. I can assure you that HD here is extremely helpful always.
The Lowes here is also less populated than the HD store which ironically, they are literally across the street from each other.

I cant help but think there is a good reason for that.

Maybe it is just a SC thing, It is that way in our WBCCI unit and it is that way at most of our stores.

I am sure you all are proud of your home towns, but I can tell you as a transplant from Florida, I Love SC!

"Nothing could be finer than Carolina" (State Motto)

What is humbling is that we are the lowest on education standards. We did climb from 50 to number 49 last year

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Old 02-19-2004, 09:11 AM   #14
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in chicago land we also have i have an additional place to look for what im not finding... all the 125 yr old hardware stores are gone....

Illegitimous noncarborundum(dont let the bastards wear you down)

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