Before the Borg

In my town there was one major 'home center'/lumberyard. They charged whatever they wanted to, gave assistance when they wanted to, and generally didn't care about the customer too much. After all, they were the only game in town and they could get away with it. They also only were open 8-5 Monday-Friday and till noon on Saturday. There were also several smaller hardware stores that had a lot of specialty items. After the BORG came to town(Menard's and later HD) the smaller hardware stores one by one closed down. The major lumberyard decided to extend it's hours to include later nights and weekends. It also decided to get a lot more reasonable on it's pricing. And they do actually wait on you when you shop there now. So, what is my point? I sure don't feel too bad for the existing homecenter/lumberyard. After all they were price gouging customers for all those years. And they made millions from this. I do however miss the smaller privately owned hardware stores. What are your feelings on this. Just wondering.
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On Sat, 23 Aug 2003 19:17:52 -0500 (CDT), snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

There was a time when Ace Hardware was something of a joke.
Now, Ace may just be 'the place' when you need something not used in home construction.
The BORG-types don't carry non-mainstream stuff. Can't get 3/16" brass tubing fittings, pipe of any sort over 3/4", decent wood, or anything else which doesn't strongly resemble a 2x4 at The BORG or their ilk.
The last several years when I needed something I knew The BORG wouldn't have, Ace had it.
I don't much care for Ace prices, but if they're the only game in town it doesn't matter on a Saturday afternoon when you just dropped your last Jesus Clip in the grass. Cheers, Fred McClellan the dash plumber at mindspring dot com
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

I agree. Although the hardware section of HD has seriously deteriorated, they sell Douglas Fir lumber from the same mills as the local real lumber yards. Special ordering from HD sucks, however.
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Here in Florida the store that is gone is called Scotty's. It use to be a major player in the building materials with stores everywhere. There were four stores in my town. Now there is none. It was a locally owned and managed chain that was overpriced and managed to have just enough stock to get by. An example $.79 for a 3/4" PVC coupling--$.15 at the Borg. But because they had the only showroom they had the business. The local management sold to Europeans as HD was moving to the area. Scotty's tried to reinvent themselves a couple of times with no luck. The only store left near ne is 2 miles from a in-construction HD. It will soon be gone.
I went to the last days of a store closing to get some bargin hardwood. I took a price list from the local HW supplier. At 80% off their prices were higher than the local supplier. Wonder why they are closing?
AS far as the local hardware there is an ACE store 2 miles from me that is open everyday for the speciality items that I need. The prices are slightly higher than the Borg but I can get that bushing or nylon washer or whatever.
On Sat, 23 Aug 2003 19:17:52 -0500 (CDT), snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

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Just as a hint.. if you see a going out of business sale or an item being discontinued, ask them how much of the product they have in stock.. If it's a reasonable quanity, sometimes you can work a deal to buy the remaining stock.
I got a lot of flooring this way. Pattern X was going to be discontinued. They marked it down 50%.. If they have 22 boxes, and you need 16, it's sometimes cheaper to buy the 22 boxes for instance at a bigger discount than the 16.. it's not like they'll be able to sell the odd group of 6 boxes.. they are often happy to clear out the remaining inventory.
Wood might be more difficult, but if you offered to buy the rest of their oak, they might lower it to a reasonable price.. doesn't hurt to ask..
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pete rose wrote:

On the subject of GOB sales, I should share a tale... We delivered new goods for months to a sleazy outfit that came in to close out a small chain of stores that used to be customers of ours. I learned a lot about the "going out of business" trade from those people, and have concluded that carnival game operators are bastions of honesty by comparison.
Caveat emptor. Don't assume it's a good deal just because there are big yellow banners all over the place. Be particularly wary if the old, familiar employees are suddenly replaced with slick looking Yankees. (Well, unless you live in Yankee Land... Then I guess you're used to slick looking Yankees, since you probably already are one... ;)
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