I've used both lowes and hd for many years. They are what they are.
I did notice that hd was doing a bit more of that "greeter" strategy
for a while and that seems to have dropped off a bit. I'm in Raleigh
NC and we have not been hit real hard by the house market collapse.
Ours didn't go up like crazy before it either. So that might be why I
have not noticed much different.
As to the 4x8 verses 2x2 drywall you need to keep in mind that drywall
prices are practically all material handling costs. The raw
components probably don't add up to 50c a sheet. If you are an
infrequent diy'r and need a small piece of drywall then paying $6 for
a 2x2 instead of $8 for a 4x8 that you will have to fool around with
to get home and then throw most of it away anyway looks pretty
attractive. Bottom line prices are market driven.
Yes but the material handling costs as you call it are not going to be
much different per sq foot for a box of 2x2's, and you don't need to
close the aisle down to restock. At Menards they will help you cut up
a 4x8 to whatever size you want, and will also sell you a 4x4 off-cut
(from pieces that get damaged in transit) for a $1 a sheet.
Not swinging a hammer for a living any more, I only need stuff like that
once in a while, for patching stuff. I ALWAYS look in the remainder
racks first. Drywall, plywood, one short stick of trim, etc. My minivan
CAN haul 4x8, sort of, but it is a PITA popping the seats out, and
finding a support board and bungee cords, for the part that sticks out
If I hit the lotto, I'd have a place with a pole barn out back, with
wood racks to keep a small shelf stock, and a pickup truck to haul it
I've been looking for some decent 1/4" ply to level my kitchen floor
with no luck. And there it was, a little water damaged but still OK, 2'
x 4' for $0.51 at HD. Fit in my car too.
It looks to me that HD has taken a hard line on cutting costs and
selling cheap. I wonder sometimes about the staff training, it looks
like they cut corners there too.
Not that I haven't seen good HDs, but the vast majority in their home
town, don't understand or know how to handle good stuff. They sell crap
brands with little regard to their reputation. And their employees don't
know the merchandise.
Unlike you, who apparently has shopped at 'most' HD stores in the US and
therefore can make an informed assessment of the quality of service, I
only shop at 2 in my area. I also shop at 2 Lowes in my area. I find the
quality of service to be basically the same at all 4.
Maybe you 'felt better' because the AC was set a little cooler at Lowes?
Small town here. Maybe that makes a difference. Local employees. Meet you at
the entrance and ask if they can help. All very pleasent to talk to. When I
buy 4x8 sheets of plywood they cut to size no charge. Totally different that
when I go to a large town and happened to buy and item there. But I do most
of my buying at the local Ace Hardware (for past 30 years) WW
Yeah, I think it's a regional thing. Small town here too, and the staff
are polite and helpful. I don't like the greeters on the door - they just
exist to get in the way, but it's easy to find someone to help if needed
once inside. No charge for them cutting lumber either (do other HD's
really charge for that??).
We've got a big Menards being built in town at the moment, too - it'll be
interesting to see what happens to HD prices after that opens (and
whether HD will stick around at all).
Personally I fear for the local farm supply place, though. They supply a
little bit of everything, usually cheaper than HD, with nicer staff and a
more trusting attitude toward customers; I'm worried that they might
disappear once there's another big competitor in the area. Plus they sell
chickens, which keeps the kids amused while I'm looking around :-)
There used to be a couple of small, old hardware stores around here. One
was an Ace and the other a True Value. Both had helpful employees who
knew about the products they sell. I would go to one of those stores when
I needed help deciding just what part to get. Both stores are out of
business now, after Lowes opened.
113 days until The winter celebration (Saturday December 25, 2010
Don't use True Value and Ace Hardware stores as examples of 'local
businesses". They are both franchise stores, doncha know?
Maybe local people 'owned' them and they employed local residents, so do
the HD and Lowes stores, and they employ more people than those small
Not usually, that is what confused me. Managers are usually
employees, drones like the rest of them at HD and Lowes. Also, are TV
and Ace franchises? I thought they were like HWI (now the Do-It Centers)
and were purchasing co-operatives.
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