I worked full time for Lowes for 1.5 years. (a retired professional). I quit only because I couldn't stand the variable scheduling, which is a retail industry trait. I always got my 39 hours but I never knew from one week to the next when I would be working. By the way, we did cut glass also plastic, lumber, plywood, copper, pvc, wire, ceramic tile, and carpet. I installed batteries, opened boxes, swapped out defective parts, potted plants, trimmed trees, loaded cars (a 15 gal ficus in a Honda Prelude - no kidding), demonstrated tools, assembled products ... whatever was needed for customer support. I cannot count how many customers told us about the lack of service at HD. I personally believe that HD is(was?) trying to target the contracting crowd. These guys know what they want and typically want a lot of it. They do not need help and get twitchy when you try. Lowes seems to aim more towards the ladies. The stores are cleaner, brighter, more spacious and blue instead of pumpkin orange. So why did I bother to tell anybody all this?I think that HDs new "We can help" slogan is a sign that they realize that it is the wives that drive most of the home improvement. Also that most people (i.e. customers) are NOT contractors but DIYers. Something that Lowes never really forgot. Both stores are in trouble right now, mostly due to the economy. When times improve, and they will, I believe that Lowes will lead the pack with HD playing catch-up. Choosing between the two is hard because both seem pretty reasonable right now, but I believe that I will cast my lot with Lowes.
Good post but I will say that I have also been in many HD's that offered great help.
I used to be a Territory Manager for a large plumbing fixture manufacturer and covered both Lowe's and Home Depot. All of the TM's felt Lowe's would win the home center battle in the long run because they catered to women. All of our research into home improvement purchasing behavior showed it was women who made the decisions (and the men who did the work - like marriage in general). We used to joke that HD stood for "Hide and Duck" when it came to helping customers. As Lowe's would move into a market people would ask me what Lowe's was like and I would say it is like Home Depot - only clean. Home Depot also stumbled with their HD Supply concept as many professional contractors prefer not to do business with a supplier that encourages "Do it yourself" promotions and undercuts their prices on installation.
I have found that the comparison seems to depend on the location or perhaps the individual store manager or a district manager, perhaps.I live in NY and in my area HD is pretty dumpy and hide & duck fits the bill. Lowe's is brighter, cleaner, better heated and you can find help.I spent a couple of years in Austin and there it was just the opposite!I would bet if you took the store manager from our local Lowe's and put him in charge down the street at the Lowe's, he would have the HD running much better.GolfSlutno position in either
I have found that the comparison seems to depend on the location or perhaps the individual store manager or a district manager, perhaps.I strongly suspect that you are right. One does tend to paint the whole company with the treatment received in a single store. It would be interesting to find out which way it is. If it truly is district driven them maybe corporate should take a closer look at what is going on. In any case I am just glad that a customer can go into ANY big box store and actually find someone willing to help.
here in this part of California there is no comparisons to Lowes and Home Depot Most of Lowes people are not trained adequately they have little or no knowledge of installation of the product their selling home depot requires employees in each department to have training and knowledge of the product and do try to find people that have been involved in installation of the product such as plumbing electrical mail works paint flooring cabinets appliances as a contractor I need suppliers with knowledge of the product they are selling as a contractor I cannot know each manufacturers recommendation for installation of a product and I need my supplier to be able to get me the information I need home depot has always gone the extra mile for me when I asked for it .however Lowes three different occasions cannot even get an order street. On one occasion in the process of a client ordered their flooring and I was to install it took over eight weeks to get a bunch of damaged flooring after reordering it from home depot I had it in about a week
I had the experience of discussing this competition with a small contractor who was repairing and installing windows in our Old Jail Library where i'm a volunteer worker.He was bragging on Home Depot to such an extent that I felt to compelled to ask him his opinion of Lowes vs Home Depot. His belief was that Lowes frequently didn't have the merchandise he wanted to buy. They had to order it while he waited. On the other hand, he said Home Depot usually had whatever you wanted, and you could drive off with it.I suspect that this may hold true for some locations and false for other locations. Anyway, it serves to stress the importance of maintaining inventory and having knowledgeable sales staff.Delwin (currently long on Home Depot)
here in this part of California there is no comparisons to Lowes and Home Depot Possibly because Home Depot built all of its stores during the 20 years of expansion, and Lowe's got a late start. In order to "catch up" and not let Home Depot have the market entirely to itself, they bought several chains, and have been struggling to bring them all up to the same level of expectation as the Lowe's stores (and Home Depot's) in the East.IIRC, one of Lowe's biggest acquisitions was also one of the most recent, a chain which served primarily the west and northwest, and which they said would take a while to retrofit. I recall when I first moved to Tennesee 12 years ago, Home Depot was Home Depot, and Lowe's wasn't much bigger than an Ace Hardware store. It stayed that way for several years, and finally Lowe's founda new piece of property and built a store of around 120,000 sq. ft (compared with the 50,000 they had), and shuttered the old store. (At the same time, naturally, inventory mushroomed, and perhaps by coincidence, their return policies changed to match Homer's.)The "new" store, of course, had some advantages over the "old" Home Depot store: it was cleaner, more brightly lit, and arranged more logically. On the downside, I had to "learn" a new store, find out what they had that was better, what was worse, and deal with a raft of people in the aisles who may or may not have been as well trained as those in the Big Orange aisles.Then Home Depot cleared out most of the people I knew anyway, and after a few price comparisons I found that both stores were essentially the same, with the nod going to Lowe's because it was just a little bit closer, and the people were more knowledgeable. That doesn't stop me from going to Home Depot, I still do it frequently. But they went from having 90% of my business to 50% or less.
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