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wrote:

I often prefer the local hardware store when I want someone who knows about hardware.

Wal-Mart calls their clerks "associates" too. I was in the store one morning, when they were having a meeting. It sounded like a cult.
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Just associates.
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Unlike some previous posters, I have had very little problem getting help in our local HD. There are knowledgeable staff in the tool/hardware/plumbing areas that I frequent.
My complaint is that the stock of repair/replacement parts and accessories is limited and only for whatever line they are currently pushing. I can buy something like a faucet or a door lock and a year later, all the related items are off the shelves.
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1) Are you experienced with any kind of home repair at all? Gardening? Anything? If not, then all you can really do is tell people where things are, right?
2) Arrive at work 15-30 minutes early, and tell your boss to leave you alone while you slowly wander the store, getting to know where things are. There's nothing more annoying than asking an associate where to find a product, only to have the associate say "I think it's aisle 14 - let's look", and take you for a walk. I don't need to take a walk with someone else who doesn't know where something is. I can walk alone, and probably faster.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Experts agree the best merchandising practice is to take the inquiring customer to the object of his desires and put the product in his hand. If you don't like that technique, simply tell the clerk: "Just tell me where it is, I don't want people to think you and I have a, you know, 'special relationship' ."
The Chinook Bookstore (somewhere in Colorado) used to have two signs hanging from the ceiling. One was large, yellow, and said "The Big Yellow Sign." The other was similar, but green. When a customer asked if the store had a copy of "Collecting Locomotives For Fun & Profit," or "Toilet Tissue Origami," the clerk would nod, point, and reply: "It's just to the left of 'The Big Yellow Sign.'
While amusing, I'm not sure the customers liked the plan and, for sure, the Chinook Bookstore never sold a single copy of either book.
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"Collecting Locomotives For Fun & Profit,"
I'd buy that one!
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You're right. It's best to take the customer to the product. And, that's actually company policy at HD, and other places, like Bed Bath & Beyond (where, for some reason, the employees really DO know where things are). My point was that too many associates at HD will wander aimlessly with you because they have absolutely no clue where things are, nor do they have even a logical guess as to where they should be.
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On Sun, 11 Dec 2005 16:43:36 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

I don't like that either, but I don't trust anyone to actually remember the aisle numbers, so I'm forced to let them do that.

What they should do is publish a big directory of things and where they are located. And hang it from a wire at a few places in the store.
Supermarkets should do that too. The Giants in Baltimore etc used to have 8 summary directories on four signs hanging from the ceiling. The new owners lowered that to 4, but the problem is not so much finding vegetables. It's finding obscure things like horseradish.
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Doug Kanter ( snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com) said...

I sort of agree with this - it looks bad for the company when an associate starts a sentence with "I think...".
I understand that every employee will not know where everything is in the store, especially if they are fairly new. A more positive and helpful reply would be, "I am not familiar with the department where that is, but let me take you to someone who is..." I know I will have a better chance at getting the information from the right person, and I just may see them sooner than if I sought them out myself and had to wait for others asking their questions.
I'm not so sure that being taken on a walk is such a bad thing. Granted I don't want the walk to start with "I think...", but the associate going with me is showing that he/she stands by the answer they are giving me. Meaning, they are not simply pointing me to another aisle in the hopes that I will leave them alone. If they go along and it ends up being a store tour because they are not so sure of where things are, they have to deal with me (and possibly my wrath!).
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What do you mean by Associate ? outside vendor? I would agree with most everything I've read ( except the one person that never has a problem ) I would add NO checkers I have left many full carts and walked out. I go to Lowes first they have checkers less than 1/4 Mile apart. The one that put me over the edge Special order God help you if you do, I never seen something more screwed up in my life. Brings the saying "You got my Money, what happened to my service?" HOME DEPOT the store you love to hate.
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Sacramento Dave wrote:

didn't have in stock. I was expecting maybe $15, but the price I was quoted was $75.
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H D is very limited on what they have to offer on the shelve, very poor selection.
Tom

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Poorly educated associates who don't capitalize...
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Why are pnuematic nailers in with the nails and not the power tools/air compressors? I know, a minor point. I'd say not being to find an associate when needed. I know you have work to do and having worked in retail it is very difficult to do your work once the store is open. Perhaps one associate should have an orange jacket and that would be the person you ask for assistance. The other asssicate(s) in the area may then get their work done, or at least more of it. Or, they'll need to hire an overnight crew to do the required work while the store is closed and allow the retail hour associates to assist customers. We did this in 24-hour grocery stores and it worked very well for the price of the overnight premium.
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Your bold and brave to be asking such a question
Ever looked at the grocery carts? Fine for groceries. Put a 8 foot 2by across one and push it around. Checker locations are not set up for anything of length.
Just how hard would be to have a cart that locks it's wheels? Ever tried to load drywall by yourself?
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I've had to push one of those carts with long items in it. It wasn't as easy as it should be?
Also, how much weight would they handle? What if I wanted to buy 400 pounds of quick-drying concrete?

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15 days until the winter solstice celebration

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Anyone else notice that the store that sells nails and screws has plastic shopping bags that are so thin they won't hold weight.
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On Sat, 10 Dec 2005 08:08:54 -0500, "SeaKan"

My pet peeve has been eliminated. Your empoloyer just installed self check out lanes in the HD nearest to me. Halleluiah! Nobody else seems to want to use them. I'm in and out in a flash.
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I'll use them as soon as they give me a discount for doing the work of the cashier.
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On Sat, 10 Dec 2005 16:41:46 +0000, Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Right. Keep waiting in line, then.
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