I've repeatedly bitched about how worthless Home Depot is, despite the
fact that they have two different stores within three miles of my
house. Well I ended up driving past my old place last night and
stopped at Lowe's to see if i could find any of the items on my
shopping list that I hadn't been able to find locally. I found about
75% of the stuff I was looking for, and they had a much better
selection of light fixtures and ceiling fans as well. I also saw
several items that I'd given up trying to find in a store and had
already ordered online. Lesson learned; it's worth the hour's drive to
Lowe's to actually get what you need - and I'll probably be dragging
the girlie there some evening this week as we do need new light
fixtures but I didn't want to pick them out by myself (the last time I
did that, I was informed that my choice was "awful" and "hideous.")
D'ya think writing to Home Despot and telling them that I'm actually
willing to go that far out of my way to go to a useful store might
result in a meaningful change in their stores' inventories? I kinda
On the upside, I also found another good independent hardware store
only a couple miles away for small incidentals, so I don't have to
fight my way through HD which despite its uselessness seems to be
wildly overcrowded every time i go...
I remember reading a few years ago that Wal-Mart's market research showed that
about *half* of Wal-Mart shoppers drove past a K-Mart to get there, or had a
K-Mart store closer to home.
When I worked for Stokely-Van Camp (the pork-and-beans people) back in the
day, we took letters from customers very seriously. Especially complaint
letters. Our marketing department said that every complaint letter represented
a hundred *more* dissatisfied customers who didn't take the trouble to write,
but simply started buying Del Monte or Libby products instead of ours.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
I really think that Home Depot and Lowe's are aimed at entirely
The differences in inventory can be seen in building product
inventories / aesthetic ceiling fans light fixtures.
Also, it seems like here the folks at Lowe's are more willing to help,
so if you know what you're doing you don't need someone over your
shoulder every 15 minutes.
Then again, I went to home depot right after work one night to buy a
load center in my slacks and neck tie...some folks who were very very
lost asked me if I worked there. I replied "No, sorry...but you must
really need some help if you're asking another passer by...what's up?"
They were having trouble deciding which light switches would replace
their broken rotary dimmer switch.
They belonged at Lowe's.
That's the thing; I'm not sure who HD is aimed at. My local HD seems
to be useless for anything but the most basic lumber or drywall needs.
Their selection of hardware is pathetic, and they carry only a bare
minimum of light fixtures and ceiling fans. I've already posted before
about how I was completely unable to find any of my electrical needs at
HD; I ended up ordering a whole mess of circuit breakers online. And
yet they have this whole big store full of stuff that I don't need. I
don't recall HD being so completely worthless when I lived in MD; but
then again, I usually went to Lowe's first because they were more
I have no opinion on the help at Lowe's as I can't remember having to
ask a question there. However, I've repeatedly been in HD and asked
about the location of a particular product within the store, and
generally I'm directed to an aisle that does not contain anything
resembling what I'm looking for. Then, after waiting around for some
length of time waiting for the one guy that really knows his stuff to
show up, I give up in disgust and go home.
It's just frustrating because I have two different HD's almost close
enough to walk to, while the nearest Lowe's is 20 miles away.
It varies a lot by location. Even though "corporate" dictates much to
the stores, there still is a lot of variability depending on how good or
worthless the local manager is.
In my area, I have a Depot and a Lowe's literally across the highway
from each other. They are both so-so, not a drastic difference between
them. Usually for a given project I can find 30% of what I need at one,
30% at the other, 30% at the local "real" suppliers and 10% I have to
order from elsewhere.
I see this too. Not entirely different, but different.
This has happened to me quite a few times. I don't know why. I never wear
anything close to orange. Couple of times I listened intently while they
went on with their question/problem. When they were done I just said "I
don't work here."
And you probably don't spend that much time looking at those light
fixtures once they're installed.
Where I live there's a Lowe's just over a mile away. The only time I
bought anything at a HD (door locks), it was not a pleasant
experience. About the only thing I use HD for is if I need to use the
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