A little venting at Home Depot...

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I had to go to one of the local Home Depots the other day, well I didn't actually have to but it was on the way home and I needed the stuff and I knew that they'd have it and besides the girl who sells hotdogs outside is kinda cute but I digress...
For those in the Los Angeles area this is the store on San Fernando road in the city of Glendale, one of the worst stores to visit in my experience, small, crowded, understocked and understaffed even more than usual.
Anyway, for whatever reason the place was packed, this was at about 3pm on a weekday, don't these people have jobs....?
I pick up the 2 things I need and head to the cashier...and that's where the fun started. This store has 14 checkout lanes including 4 of the "self-serve" ones plus a commercial account desk and an extra register in the "tool corral", now guess how many of these registers were actually being staffed?
2...and at least one of the self-service machines was broken with no sign on it indicating as such. Of course there was the obligatory employee out side the exit door checking reciepts as people left. Does anyone other than me refuse to stop for that crap? "If you think I stole something, you better have some proof and you better go ahead and arrest me cause I ain't stopping so you can "check my receipt" lady." But I digress.
The lines were at least 12 people deep, so long that guys using the lumber carts had to leave extra space between them so people could get thru the store...the tool corral line was in 2 different places and heading for a showdown as people who thought that they were in line found out that they weren't.
People were walking up and seeing the space left by the lumber cart guys they assumed that that meant the line ended there and so they'd try to take up residence, which made for some interesting confrontations.
While all this was going on, there were 2 cashiers standing a bit down from the registers trying to entice unwary shoppers to sign up for an inhouse credit card, when the second one hit me up for an account I said I'd like one but was afraid I'd never be able to find a cashier to accept it, he sorta mumbled some thing and wandered off to try and sell an appliance.
After waiting for about 10 minutes in line with virtually no movement I got on my cel phone, got the manager of the store on the line and asked him why in the hell wasn't he out front helping to clear some of these customers out of the store...he babbled a bit about about using the self-serve registers, that was when I told him that at least one of those wasn't working either...
Well long story slightly shorter, I eventually made it to the cash register only to find my favorite appliance salesman had actually been told to do something and he was now working the register, he tried his best to make me his buddy but all I said was that he should have been helping people a half hour earlier, paid my bill and left.
The hot dog was very tasty and the can of soda was cold and I didn't have to wait for the pretty girl to ring me up.
John Emmons
"when hatred calls with his package, refuse delivery..."
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Ever consider not letting these things bother you?
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yeah I have but then I'd have nothing to write these little stories about. The only thing that "bothered" me was the complete lack of any understanding of customer service. If I ran my business like that, I'd be out of business as I should be.
It's all part of the loss of simple consideration for others that plagues this world we live in.
John

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An the arrogance these big box stores and their management have that customers don't matter. However, I did hear the CEO of Wally World say on TV the other day, that for every customer they lose, they potentially lose $200,000 in future sales.
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Gary wrote:

Well, he stood in line the whole time, didn't he? Shows it <doesn't> matter, often. :(
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Once Wally World has run all the competition out of business, its just about impossible for them to truly lose a customer. Nowhere else to go.
Here's my theory. Retailers have come to the conclusion that their biggest enemy is NOT their competition. The largest threat to their profitability is their suppliers, and their customers. NO competitor can ever hurt you bottom line like the folks above and below you in the supply chain. If your supplier wants more margin, or if you customer demands more value, you're going to get hammered. Once the big box retailers figured out that they would maximize their profit by bullying their suppliers and customers they have turned big profits. Walmart and HD have figured out that once they've beaten their customers into accepting inferior goods with no service they can clean up.
The message I read between the lines at every big box store is "quit expecting service!". They can't deliver service, they won't deliver service. Everything about their operation is built around denial of service. They put brain damaged people on the sales floor for a reason. They want you to quit trying. Walmart may sell that their greeters are friendly, but they're not smart, or useful.
The guy at the door checking receipts: Last line of defense against the customer, the enemy.
--
Dana Miller

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yeah I have but then I'd have nothing to write these little stories about.<BR>&gt;&gt;&gt; The only thing that "bothered" me was the complete lack of any <BR>&gt;&gt;&gt; understanding<BR>&gt;&gt;&gt; of customer service. If I ran my business like that, I'd be out of <BR>&gt;&gt;&gt; business<BR>&gt;&gt;&gt; as I should be.<BR>&gt;&gt;&gt;<BR>&gt;&gt;&gt; It's all part of the loss of simple consideration for others that plagues<BR>&gt;&gt;&gt; this world we live in.<BR>&gt;&gt;<BR>&gt;&gt;An the arrogance these big box stores and their management have that <BR>&gt;&gt;customers don't matter.&nbsp; However, I did hear the CEO of Wally World say on <BR>&gt;&gt;TV the other day, that for every customer they lose, they potentially lose <BR>&gt;&gt;$200,000 in future sales. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Once Wally World has run all the competition out of business, its just <BR>&gt; about impossible for them to truly lose a customer.&nbsp; Nowhere else to go.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Here's my theory.&nbsp; Retailers have come to the conclusion that their <BR>&gt; biggest enemy is NOT their competition.&nbsp; The largest threat to their <BR>&gt; profitability is their suppliers, and their customers.&nbsp; NO competitor <BR>&gt; can ever hurt you bottom line like the folks above and below you in the <BR>&gt; supply chain.&nbsp; If your supplier wants more margin, or if you customer <BR>&gt; demands more value, you're going to get hammered.&nbsp; Once the big box <BR>&gt; retailers figured out that they would maximize their profit by bullying <BR>&gt; their suppliers and customers they have turned big profits.&nbsp; Walmart and <BR>&gt; HD have figured out that once they've beaten their customers into <BR>&gt; accepting inferior goods with no service they can clean up.&nbsp; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; The message I read between the lines at every big box store is "quit <BR>&gt; expecting service!".&nbsp; They can't deliver service, they won't deliver <BR>&gt; service.&nbsp; Everything about their operation is built around denial of <BR>&gt; service.&nbsp; They put brain damaged people on the sales floor for a reason.&nbsp; <BR>&gt; They want you to quit trying.&nbsp; Walmart may sell that their greeters are <BR>&gt; friendly, but they're not smart, or useful.&nbsp; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; The guy at the door checking receipts:&nbsp; Last line of defense against the <BR>&gt; customer, the enemy.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; -- <BR>&gt; Dana Miller</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2>IMHO, I disagree.&nbsp; Big bully stores like Wal-Mart and the Borgs put Mom and Pop out of business.&nbsp;&nbsp; Before Wal-Mart, rural people worked in small factories and shopped at locally owned stores.&nbsp; Now their factories have moved offshore because of Wal-Mart's bully tactics and Mom and Pop lacks a local supplier and the stupid customer is enamored by "Low Prices, Always".&nbsp; </FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2>&nbsp;Wal-Mart has killed the "Little Man" and is now&nbsp; killing the country.&nbsp; Certain third-world countries are becoming industrialized (thanks to Wal-Mart, the largest importer of Chinese goods).&nbsp; Could this be the reason oil is $60 a barrel and headed to $100?&nbsp; Wait until every chinaman trades in his bicycle for an SUV.&nbsp; "You ain't seen nuthin' yet."</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2>Gary</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial color=#000000 size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BODY></HTML>
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Now that Mom and Pop are out of business, the next target in their sights has to be either the customer or the supplier.

If the average chinaman wants to buy an SUV, the wages in china are going to have to increase by a factor of 10-20. Because that sort of wage is only possible if the workers organize, and union organization is a capitol offense in China don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. We send about all the money we can to china that our nation has as excess. There's just not enough money flowing that way for them to afford those things. Their internal market might support that level of economy but China is already suffering from wage pressures which are sending work to the remainder of asia.
--
Dana Miller

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Boy, do you have it right. When Wal Mart came to our town, they hired an armed security force and redirected traffic from the small stores to the Wal Mart parking lot. They sent flyers to each house demanding we shop at Wal Mart and abandon the existing merchants.
Wal Mart (and most of the other big box stores) is giving people what they want. Low prices on mediocre merchandise. The suppliers to these stores make the final decision to move factories off shore. They fear losing market share so they capitulate.
I'd also like to see the stores close on Sunday so their employees could spend a day home with family, but 1955 is not going to return.
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"John Emmons" wrote in message

understanding
business
Well said!
Home Depot is in business for the convenience of its employees/stockholders, not its customers. It's that damn simple ... around here it starts before you ever walk in the door, with the lumber carts stored at the opposite end of the gigantic parking lot from the front doors, and goes down hill from there.
When HD opens a shiny new store everything is rosy, then, over time, like a calked miter joint in a poorly made outhouse, the smell creeps out.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 7/12/05
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wrote:

You have a way with words. Nicely put, and dead-on accurate. I've been watching that process taking place at my local HD over the last coupla years.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Agreed! I'm a remodeler and spend more time in these sh-tholes than I like to admit, certainly more than I want to.
And, let me add a couple of more to the list. : 1. It seems that no two of HDs are laid out the same. I often find myself wandering around, wasting time looking for areas that are supposed to be somewhere else. 2. For the last couple of months, the store on Hwy. 290 has taken up a couple of complete rows of parking by warehousing their crates of surplus tile out in the parking lot. It's hard enough parking n F250 Crew Cab with an eight foot bed; now I'm pushed even further away from the building.
--
"New Wave" Dave In Houston



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My wife works for a large grocery chain here in SoCal. The store manager's bonus at the end of the year is dependent on the profits of the store (i.e. the total sales versus the total payroll). If you get a store manager who cares more about his bonus than the satisfaction of the customer, you will find the store consistently understaffed. Especially when he is not there to take the flak from disgruntled customers.
Just my 2
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A friend used to be with the Wegman's supermarket in NY state. Employees were (are) shareholders.
I had a couple of tours, and it's a hellluvan operation. Most impressive.
--
~ Stay Calm... Be Brave... Wait for the Signs ~
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snipped-for-privacy@nospamthanks.com wrote:

Exactly the situation at HD. They open with well-paid pros in all the departments who drift away, especially after the first profit review when the manager has to cut his payroll. The replacements are paid about half as much and don't know even that. My local HD ran out of an item three weeks after they opened. I've talked with department managers there who say that it's almost impossible to get reorders from the warehouse in a reasonable time. Don't get me started on the last time I made a special order with them.
And HD wants to own the Chinese market...
Bob
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I special ordered some rugs from Home Depot on June 30th and got them yesterday on July 14th.
/They even called me a week ago to warn me about the order being late. I don't consider two weeks to be late at all.

How many big box stores don't want to import stuff at the lowest cost?
Brian Elfert
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On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 03:15:23 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nospamthanks.com wrote:

Seems to me that if the additional staffing doesn't at least generate sales equal to added payroll, that the added staffing wasn't really needed. I would assume that added staffing would have to at least cover its own costs as well as the cost of the additional product sold before you would schedule those added bodies. A profit based bonus makes complete sense as long as it is at least intermediate trem based, not short term and as long as the manager has some control on other factors affecting sales volume.
Dave Hall
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The one near me parks their delivery tractor trailer in front of the store most of time making it hard for people to drive around the parking lot. They also leave their shopping carts all over the parking lot taking up parking spaces.

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They
Life's tough. I've got an easy fix for you though. Park in a handicapped parking space. There, problem fixed. Glad I could help. :)
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I've never seen store employees spreading the carts around. I guess they want to make it easier for you to find one.
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