Lowe's Lousy Inventory

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I went to Lowe's today to pick up an assortment of materials; a 1 micron water filter, a toilet handle, a tube of butyl calk, a gallon of Snow Roof, a 3" self-closing RV trailer dump fitting, and a 3x2 curb mount Velux skylight.
I ended up getting the toilet handle. None of the other items were in stock. What kind of building supply store doesn't stock butyl calk? Last month I went there looking for a quad 20 breaker, and they didn't stock those either. The irritating thing is that, when Lowes built their store, a local building supply went out of business, but I could buy all the stuff at the local building supply in one stop.
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Larry Caldwell wrote:

Lowes and the other big-boxes only continue to carry what actually moves. Stock carried varies by store, and they are very good at tracking and predicting. They take their best guess when the open a store, but 12-24 months later, if something has sold only a few, or not it all, they won't have it anymore. 80-20 rule. You mainly worry about the 20% of the line that brings in 80% of your money, and fill in around the edges with the rest. Most of us on this group have run into the same problem. Stuff we used to be able to find anywhere is now an annoying PITA to track down, and in many smaller towns, there is no longer a full-line purveyor to the trade. Builders have to send a truck to the nearest big city when they build a custom house. Lowes answer? 'Oh, we can order that for you'. Yeah, right. You can build a house from Lowes, but it'll be the most white-bread-with-mayonnaise cookie cutter you can imagine, because that is what the bean counters have determined we actually buy.
-- aem sends...
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wrote:

In my area, the Lowes stores lean more towards "home decorating" items and HD leans more towards general building supplies.
You can get a front door, or a ceiling fan at HD, but Lowes will have a bigger selection of nicer ones.
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Larry Caldwell wrote:

When Lowe's bought out our local chain, Eagle, it was the same deal. The first 5 things I needed I finally found in the "closeout" area. They stock way less than Eagle did. But they are still often better than HD.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Bob F) says...

I bought some lawn seed once at HD. Otherwise, I was dismayed at how much they charged for stuff. I can go to any lumber yard and save 30% off HD prices. Lowes is at least sort of competitive, but their inventory has gotten so lousy it is a waste of time to shop there.
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Ahhh , must be time for a Big Box Bash-a-Thon....Been a few weeks so I guess it's time...The Big Box Haters need an "atta boy" now and then from other haters to keep that "warm and fuzzy feeling" going...It most usually happens after passing a full Home Depot , Lowes or Walmart parking lot and they get that "left out feeling" or feel they are missing something...An "atta boy" from others that refuse to shop at the big boxes and a few BS horror stories (like the one above) about past experiences and the left out feeling dissipates , for a while.... Therapy for BBDS ..(Big Box Derangement Syndrome)
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I see nothing wrong by reporting their experiences and most has some positive items as well.
With competition prices are generally fair.
A lot of people are pretty smart about shopping around for the best prices and availability. I ask lots of questions like, "Do you see many returns for service issues for Brand X cordless bacon cooker?"
Customer service is right up there with price in my priorities.
One large retailer showed poor service one too many times for me and they lost me for life.
When I was a manager at a large clothing retailer, managers learned some good material on how to treat customers.
If a customer has a good experience, he may tell 2 or 3 others about the good experience. If he/she has a bad experience, they will on average tell 10 others about it.
Almost forgot. Do you work for a big box store? :-)
Take care, Andy
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I see nothing wrong by reporting their experiences and most has some positive items as well.
With competition prices are generally fair.
A lot of people are pretty smart about shopping around for the best prices and availability. I ask lots of questions like, "Do you see many returns for service issues for Brand X cordless bacon cooker?"
Customer service is right up there with price in my priorities.
One large retailer showed poor service one too many times for me and they lost me for life.
When I was a manager at a large clothing retailer, managers learned some good material on how to treat customers.
If a customer has a good experience, he may tell 2 or 3 others about the good experience. If he/she has a bad experience, they will on average tell 10 others about it.
Almost forgot. Do you work for a big box store? :-)
Take care, Andy
No , I am a Drywall Contractor....SWMBO is a manager at Walmart though...Good health insurance....Why do you ask ???..I just find BBDS sufferers amusing , especially the remarks about how stupid folks are for shopping at Big Boxes and how smart they are for not shopping there.....LOL...Capitolism is what it is....Lead , follow or get out of the way....
By the way...We have a Homedepot and Lowes and not one single lumber/hardware store of the 6 or so around (not counting all the other plumbing , electical supply houses and garden centers , ect. have gone under...
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I live in Pearland, Texas and I have a Loew's and Home Depot within 5 miles.
I also have an ACE hardware where you get great service and good advice and the employees aren't playing hide-and-seek when you are looking for help. :-)
There are also another 2 locally owned hardware stores that have been here at least 20 years.
It nice to go into a store and the employees smile and actually like working there.
Hurricane Ike did a big number on the fences in my area, Friendswood, Alvin, and Houston. I have had plenty of fence jobs. :-)
Take care, Andy
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Mint wrote:

Odd, the problem that the OP describes is almost guaranteed when I go to the Orange-Colored Store. The (much less convenient) Lowe's IME has much better stock. However, I've pretty much given up on finding any metric stainless hardware locally, even in the good non-chain stores (which is awful handy for adding accessories to bicycles, for instance) and have ended up buying in bulk from McMaster-Carr, thus ensuring that I have 50 or 100 of an item that I only needed two of (but saves me money and time on gas, and then I have a lifetime supply thereafter...)
Anyone need some 5 or 6mm stainless nylocs? :)
nate
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snipped-for-privacy@fairpoint.net (benick) says...

No past experiences here, Bubba. That trip to Lowes was today. If they stock everything you want, good for you. You apparently don't do much around the house.
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Larry Caldwell wrote:

Hi, For me, when I go any store for urgent need of particular item, it's always out of stock ?!?!???. LOL
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Bubba ??? Classy remark....Carefull your IQ is showing...I never said Lowes has everything I need...I go to Homedepot among other lumber yards...I have never been to a Lowes even though it is right in the same area... You don't know shit about what I do around the house...
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benick wrote:

So people should never report their big box experiences because you have succumbed to all of their great marketing and you thing they are your "friend" and no one should ever talk about your "friend"?
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Larry Caldwell wrote:

Big Box stores don't come into an area to save you/us money. After they take the business/ put the local competition out, of business they raise prices and cut inventory to the fast movers or items that offer the larger margins of profit. This is one reason that American made is being made ancient history. Small harware building supply stores often tried rigorously to carry American made. people bought it even if it was a little more. The quality was there, generally. Big Box carries only what it's buyers buy in China etc in volume. Of course lumber and other things are exceptions. There is no concern with what we want. We are forced to buy what they offer because they are the only game in town.
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The big box stores didn't put the lumber yards out of business, but the lumber yards around here close on weekends and at 5:30 PM. One yard used to be the Saturday morning meeting place for hundreds of men in the county, but too many weekend tinkerers go to the big box stores, so that business is gone.
I don't know anyone who buys lumber from the big box stores. They carry some specialty items, like 3/16 planed box stock, that is hard to find anywhere else, but for studs, rafters, TJ-Is and trusses, a lumber yard is the place to go, if you can't go directly to the truss manufacturer.
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wrote:

Big Box never put a small store out of business , unfair stock buying did . Suppliers give price a, to the little guy cause he can only carry 10 saws at once. Price b go's to the big box cause he buys 40 saws , it has made it impossible for the small guy to compete . This is the suppliers fault not the big box also China's fault as this is how they sell .
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On Sat, 12 Sep 2009 19:58:37 -0700, Larry Caldwell wrote: <...>

Lowes and Home Depot are in the home improvement business. Both of the stores nearest to me have do have a traditional contractor counter, where commercial customers can place an order, But that's not their emphasis. Like Walmart, their target customer is the family. not primarily men or women. The Lowes does have a pretty good common lumber selection. But considering the amount of space it takes, I think it's there more as a convenience than a profit center.
There probably would be a local Lowes opening soon were it not for a bogged down permit process. If/when it is built, it will be interesting to see how the local lumber yard does. They have to some extent prepared. When some kids burned down their sales building a couple years ago, they associated with Do-It-Best when they rebuilt. But they still operate in behind-the-counter mode for most building materials. So I will probably go to Lowes for my occasional lumber purchase because I will be able to see/select what I'm buying.
Agreed on shrinking in-store selection. I've resorted to ordering online with ship-to-store for several items this summer, with 75% acceptable results. As for the butyl caulk, HD has it in the paint department - DAP Gutter & Flashing; perhaps Lowes also does.
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On Sat, 12 Sep 2009 19:58:37 -0700, Larry Caldwell

One time I went to 84 Lumber and needed to buy several 2x4s. As I sorted thorugh the boards associate approached me and said, "You can't do that!" Hugh? He stated that I picked the best ones there would be a useless pile of warped, waned, split, and twisted boards left. HD or Lowes never does that. Guess who went out of business?
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Phisherman wrote:

Agreed, at the end 84 was also pretty sad, and carried a very limited line. Our 84 went away shortly after Menards opened up across the street from Lowes. No traditional full-line yards left near here, just a couple boutique places that specialize in high-end doors/windows or fancy millwork, and only have a small supply of normal stuff. I assume they survive on M-F crack-of-dawn business from the trade, because during the few hours they are open when I can shop there, the parking lots are always empty. A regional franchise, 'The Yard', tried to open up here a few years ago. Selection was slanted to rural country folk houses or pole barns, and prices were on the high side, but at least the small showroom smelled like a real lumberyard. They went away when the money-lenders imploded last year. I miss the Wolohans we used to have. They tried to match the selection Lowes had on decorator frou-frou, and cut back their selection of actual building materials, and the real builders quit going there. They had been like a traditional yard, in an industrial area and all, but they weren't that old. I think they were the ones that made the local ma'n'pa yards that stored their framing lumber in outside racks go under or become boutique specialty yards.
-- aem sends...
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