I am surprised that anyone is surprised. Big box stores are interested
in wiping out all of the small stores. To do that they had to make
themselves look like good guys at first. Once they decimate the small
stores they can cut way back on staff and raise prices.
They could, but they don't. If you can point to one single monopoly that HAS
raised prices in a captive market, I'd be surprised (except for professional
sports and government-sanction monopolies like utilities).
In fact, the biggest monopoly ever (Standard Oil) - the poster boy for all
that's evil about large companies - managed to lower the price of Kerosene
from $3.00/gallon to five cents in less than three years! Of course this put
the whale-oil suppliers out of business...
You're right. Even considering inflation, Vista costs more than Windows 95.
But with the greater productivity of Vista, users make more money and,
hence, can pay more. The additional cost is still a lower percentage of
their disposable income than was Win95.
Even so, Vista is not the same product (like Kerosene or nails).
Vista hasn't greater productivity. Quite the opposite actually as vista
users will spend most of their time staring at the hourglass whereas a
windows 95 user could get some usefull work done with a pentium I.
Unless, of course, you supply Vista with at least 6 ghz of processor, 4GB
of ram, etc.
I find that basic hardware items are unavailable at my local HD's. I guess
the lack of ability to make big profits on such items as steel rivets keeps
HD from stocking them. It's really bad when it's easier to start out
shopping at a small hardware store 15 miles away rather than checking at the
local HD about 2 miles away because usually the HD either won't have or
doesn't stock what you need.
I have a love/hate relationship with Home Depot. I love it because it
is convenient and they carry many common items that you need for a
home. I hate them because of the service that they provide. I asked
a guy where I could find three prong outlets and he commented that I
could have just broken off the third prong and it would have worked.
Not all of them are that bad but its hard to find good help. I tend
to go to Lowes when I am shopping for anything that I feel would look
good in the home such as lighting and crown moulding. I go to Home
Depot when I am fixing a wall or repairing pipes.
Hah, The interior doorknobs and registers I bought from Lowes a little
over 3 years ago are losing their brass(?) plating. The chrome light
fixture I got at the same time is rusting.
I'm not saying HD's stuff is any better, on the contrary, I've learned
to avoid the big box stores when I need "nice looking" stuff now.
Yeah, but around here (New Hampshire), I have yet to see a True Value
or other like hardware store go under. When I dtalk to the owner's
they say HD and Loews address a different market.
I only go to the big ones on Sunday for wood. No where else to get
I'm like Goldilocks. I don't like it when I can't find anyone, nor
when they are always talking to me.
I really don't like it when someone greets me at HD at the door to
sell me a credit card.
First, she ruins the fantasy I'm having about all the great hardware I
will but and build great things with. Or at least I forget what I
came there for.
Second, the rates are outrageous and she'd do me more good working on
the floor. They have someone there about 2/3rds of the time.
You can't really expect to have choices in a small town.
Don't know about hardware stores, but my home town of 50,000 had 3
lunch counters, only one nice place for dinner, and a Dairy Queen.
It had one high school.
If you had too many stores, it woudn't be a small town. :)
I work for Home Depot, and the article is correct. The dickhead who
just left the company ( Nardelli) made his quarterly numbers by cutting
costs anywhwere he could....and "store Hours" was a major point of cutting.
Every store is given a budget of "man hours" they can spend in any given
week (based on prior sales, time of year, time of day etc)...and
particularly on week days that means entire departments without coverage
by at least one employee. Often you have one guy covering two
departments...like appliances and plumbing.
Right now - weekdays in the winter - HD is at its lowest hourly store
budget. And that means customer service is at its worst.
The founders built the chain on that knowledgeable service. Bob
Nardelli trashed it in just a few short years.
The interesting thing though is how many customers come in complaining
about Lowe's (and their corporate flagship store is right across the
street). Lowe's pay less, hires young kids who don't know their ass
from their elbow, and who actually turn and walk the other way when
they see a customer coming. I hear that story 10 times a week.
Bottom line is that you can't tar either chain with a single brush.
Reagrdless of corporate policies, every store is different and each one
a reflection of what that store manager feels is most important.
Some stress customer service and some stress paint cans perfectly aligned.
Some place HD wins and some Lowes. But the customer always has the
My 2 cents worth.
Stephen Blackpool wrote:
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