Another reason to not shop at Lowes

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I know a town of 12,000 where both hardware stores closed in the past year. The nearest competitior of any size (little bitty lumber yard) is 12 miles away and the closest hardware store is 40 miles away. No Home Depot or Lowes in town.
Brian Elfert
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wrote:

Indeed, as CW says, the small hardware store is not *yet* extinct, but it's sure headed that way. I live in a major city (Indianapolis, *in* the city, not out in suburbia) and there is exactly *one* small hardware store (an ACE) within four miles of my house. There used to be another ACE closer, but it went belly-up three years ago; there were several mom-and-pops even closer still, but they've been gone even longer than that.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Bloomington, In has a really fine hardware store - Kleindorfers. They are on the west side of town. When I know what I'm doing, I buy at Lowes. When I don't have a clue, I buy at Kleindorfers. I pay for the experience and advice they are willing to share.
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Kevin wrote:

...
Unfortunately, by buying at Lowes you're probably hastening the time at which you <won't> be able to buy at Kleindorfers. That's my complaint -- too many people are too short-sighted to understand that the service they want when they want it can't be there if they're not willing to support it. :(
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Hear! Hear!
Mom & Pop, brick & mortar made this place.
The biggest, privately owned lumber yard and hardware store took a broadside from Home Despot when they first opened here. Business went down 60%.. but 6 months later business mysteriously recovered and HD had to let people go........ The smaller, local builders figured out that HD wasn't going to float them for a few weeks till their projects were completed. HD must have seen that coming, because this was one of the first down-sized HDs this side of the border. The HD at the next town is twice the size. Their prices are nothing to write home about. The selection is so-so. The staff is mostly part timers. The only thing that *I* go there for.... is the odd Ridgid piece.
FWIW
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I agree completely in principle, but it's hard to pay anywhere from 40% to 300% more for the same stuff. It's also hard to drive all the way across town on the other side of umpty scadillion stoplights when Lowe's is only two stoplights away.
When I lived in town, the situation was reversed. Better to spend 40% to 300% more and not have to drive all the way to the outskirts of town through umpty scadillion stoplights.
Maybe the lesson here is that the hardware stores need to move out to the 'burbs and the outskirts and go where the other business is.
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Silvan wrote:

I've never found anywhere near that kind of price differential on the <same> product between the Borg's and other retailers. In a lot of cases, the Borq is like WalMart where the one or two lead items is cheaper but be careful!--a lot of other stuff is at least has high if not higher. If it's 300% cheaper there's only one reason--one is Chinese-imported crap (unless there's a fire-sale closeout or some other very unsupportable condition that's not sustainable in the long run).
As for location, one can only be located in one spot for any given store--if Amurracuns continue to look only at the short term effects of buying cheap imports, that will be all there is and service, if desired will <not> be. It's a choice.
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You're right Duane, it's a choice. I don't think it's a problem here though. There's a class of people who are happy with the cheap stuff or the "convenience" of a big box store, but those are the folks that are now getting exposed to things they were never exposed to before - therefore, they become new members of a community that does things like woodworking or home repairs on their own. As for the folks that kept the local hardware stores alive in the past, or the folks that bought high quality tools intended to last a lifetime, those folks are still out there, and still buying from pretty much the same places they always did. It's a matter of who's money is being spent on quality, and I'd argue that the same types of people who have always spent on quality still are. At the same time, there's a whole new field of people who either have always bought junk because they don't use it alot, or who were never even a part of the food chain in some of these areas, and now are - albeit at the low end.
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RE: Subject
Biggest reason to avoid Lowes around here is location.
They are all located in a shopping centers with traffic control patterns designed to insure that "you can't get there from here".
Can't remember the last time I was in one.
It isn't worth the frustration of wasting all that time just to find a place to park, much less stand in line to pay for your purchases after making a selection.
Lew
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On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 22:07:09 GMT, Lew Hodgett

When I need anything that fits in a back pack, I prefer bicycling on errands. My local BORGs all have lots as you describe, so I've got another reason not to go there.
I'm lucky enough to have top notch electrical, lumber, door & window, paint, hardware, plumbing, rental, lawn and garden, etc... specialists in my town of 66,000.
My favorite paint store reports business as up in the two years of having a Home Depot two miles away. He sees more total home improvement dollars being spent since the store has opened. His attractive store staffed with friendly people is located on the same main road as the HD store, and he credits HD for his new out of town customer base. The stores that are hurting honestly weren't all that great before the HD. Others, like the locally based Electrical Wholesalers chain, never cared for Johnny DIY before, so they could care less about HD.
There are a few things HD and Lowes carry that I can't get without a 30 minute drive, like Porta-Nails flooring nails, siding, and the occasional Sunday or 7 PM lumber.
Barry
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I don't have enough real numbers to argue hard on the price issues at the moment, but I can argue the imports issues. It's a question of sending money to China by way of North Wilkesboro, NC, or sending money to China by way of Mom & Pop. It's not like the local place only sells American stuff. They sell the same imported crap everybody else does, at higher prices, in packaging with different colors on it.
The only reason I shop there is for their overpriced, marginal quality, but handily available lumber. That's the same justification I've heard lots of folks use for shopping at Lowe's, incidentally. Other than lumber, this place is basically the same as Lowe's, except dark, dusty, dirty, and disorganized. If they have stuff Lowe's doesn't carry, I have no idea where the hell it is in that mess anyway. And as for the help, they're all retired guys who stand around talking about fishing. There can be four of them standing there, and nobody will ever ask me if I need help. If I ask one of them, they play round robin ask Bill ask Ted ask Jimmy and it takes half an hour to find what I'm looking for. This sounds a lot like Lowe's too.
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Silvan wrote:
...an all too true lament for the old-timey store...
Yeah, there's one of those here, too....although in this one he won't get up out of the chair she will and seems to have an uncanny knowledge of where everything is, some of which has been there collecting dust for 50 years or more...it's the one place I go when needing an old whatever it is because it will be the only place there's a chance. But, you're right a lot of their new stock is the same as the Borg's since the only distributors left are all the same ones... :(
There're a couple of farm supplies that still buy American for the most part here (the Co-Op) primarily, and that's the primary place I go. Somewhat more expensive for routine hardware, but not outrageous.
As for true "woodworking" supplies, there's no place in town for anything other than some carpentry supplies...too small a market. But that's not a new phenomenon.
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Aside from The Big Borgs... there is the Amazon effect.
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No doubt there are such places. There are many areas that don't have much need for a hardware store.
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CW wrote:

Why is that? Unless they're close to a metro area, seems unlikely there aren't needs...
Problem is the cost of staying in business is just too much for a small community to support, not that they don't have a need.
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Joe Bleau wrote:

A Lowes finally opened up in my area last week. They have a booth near the center of the store (enclosed in Plexiglass for safety reasons I imagine). The sign on the booth indicates it's the glass cutting station.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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Nova wrote: ...

...
And the chances of the "associate" standing in the booth having a clue of what he's up to is... ????
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I really can't say as no one was buying glass while I was there but it looked like they had a Fletcher glass cutter ( http://www.reuels.com/reuels/product11686.html ) which isn't difficult to operate.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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wrote:

Wait til they have driven the competition out of business. They always open with a glass-cutting section. They give wonderful service when they first open up. Repost in a year and tell us what you think of Lowes or HD then.
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Joe Bleau wrote:

Although Lowes has recently opened in my area Home Depot has been around for many years. For their intended purpose I have no complaints with their methods of operation.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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