Is Home Depot shafting shoppers? "Home Depot is a consistent abuser of its customers' time."

Discussion in 'Building Construction' started by Stephen Blackpool, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Stephen Blackpool

    Kyle Guest

    On Mar 9, 2:08 pm, "Stephen Blackpool" <>
    wrote:
    > March 8, 2007
    > Is Home Depot shafting shoppers?http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/HomeDepotShaftin...
    >
    > By cutting back on employees, the home-improvement retailer is putting
    > the screws to the people it needs most: its customers.


    [snip]

    There are two market forces at work. One is that many a homeowner
    prefers the convenience of going to one store to find what they need
    for their household projects as opposed to going to three, four, five
    different places. Two is a large-scale retailer is often positioned to
    undercut the prices of smaller, locally-owned stores - e.g., Wal-Mart
    killing the small businesses across America.

    This trend towards fewer employees as a way of saving the company
    money is nothing new: Macy's was doing in back in the early 1990s when
    I was a manager there. The belief is the customer doesn't want
    employee help and the staff is the easiest place to cut overhead
    costs. I know a salesperson who, when Macy's converted their employees
    from commission to hourly pay went from making an equivalet of $13/
    hour commission to an hourly rate of $8.25/hour. He left pretty
    quickly, as did most other competent salespeople.

    What HD, Macy's and myriad other large retailers fail to understand is
    many customers will not even notice slightly higher-than-average
    prices if they get exceptional customer service from well-trained,
    knowledgable staff. It's what keeps places like Nordstrom and the
    Men's Warehouse and other clothing retailers in business. And it's
    what will set apart local hardware stores from the big box places.
     
    Kyle, Mar 10, 2007
    #21
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  2. Stephen Blackpool

    mm Guest

    On Sat, 10 Mar 2007 14:09:24 GMT, Mitch <Mitch@...> wrote:

    >At least you have choices. In my small town, all we have is a
    >Menard's. Staffed only by retarded teenagers who avoid customer
    >contact at all costs.


    You can't really expect to have choices in a small town.

    Don't know about hardware stores, but my home town of 50,000 had 3
    lunch counters, only one nice place for dinner, and a Dairy Queen.

    It had one high school.

    If you had too many stores, it woudn't be a small town. :)
     
    mm, Mar 10, 2007
    #22
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  3. Stephen Blackpool

    mm Guest

    On Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:19:35 -0600, clifto <> wrote:

    >Mitch wrote:
    >> At least you have choices. In my small town, all we have is a
    >> Menard's. Staffed only by retarded teenagers who avoid customer
    >> contact at all costs.

    >
    >I have to say that the Menard's stores near me have people who go out of
    >their way to make sure you're finding what you're looking for, almost
    >to the point of wishing they'd ignore you.
    >
    >Almost. :)


    I'm like Goldilocks. I don't like it when I can't find anyone, nor
    when they are always talking to me.

    I really don't like it when someone greets me at HD at the door to
    sell me a credit card.

    First, she ruins the fantasy I'm having about all the great hardware I
    will but and build great things with. Or at least I forget what I
    came there for.

    Second, the rates are outrageous and she'd do me more good working on
    the floor. They have someone there about 2/3rds of the time.
     
    mm, Mar 10, 2007
    #23
  4. That person is there to deter shoplifters from walking out the "in" door
    with merchandise. The credit cards are just gravy....


    "mm" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:19:35 -0600, clifto <> wrote:
    >
    >>Mitch wrote:
    >>> At least you have choices. In my small town, all we have is a
    >>> Menard's. Staffed only by retarded teenagers who avoid customer
    >>> contact at all costs.

    >>
    >>I have to say that the Menard's stores near me have people who go out of
    >>their way to make sure you're finding what you're looking for, almost
    >>to the point of wishing they'd ignore you.
    >>
    >>Almost. :)

    >
    > I'm like Goldilocks. I don't like it when I can't find anyone, nor
    > when they are always talking to me.
    >
    > I really don't like it when someone greets me at HD at the door to
    > sell me a credit card.
    >
    > First, she ruins the fantasy I'm having about all the great hardware I
    > will but and build great things with. Or at least I forget what I
    > came there for.
    >
    > Second, the rates are outrageous and she'd do me more good working on
    > the floor. They have someone there about 2/3rds of the time.
     
    justadilettante, Mar 10, 2007
    #24
  5. Stephen Blackpool

    AZ Nomad Guest

    On Sat, 10 Mar 2007 17:38:29 -0600, HeyBub <> wrote:


    >user wrote:
    >> HeyBub wrote:
    >>
    >>>
    >>> They could, but they don't. If you can point to one single monopoly
    >>> that HAS raised prices in a captive market, I'd be surprised (except
    >>> for professional sports and government-sanction monopolies like
    >>> utilities).

    >>
    >> Microsoft, and with Vista


    >You're right. Even considering inflation, Vista costs more than Windows 95.
    >But with the greater productivity of Vista, users make more money and,
    >hence, can pay more. The additional cost is still a lower percentage of
    >their disposable income than was Win95.


    Vista hasn't greater productivity. Quite the opposite actually as vista
    users will spend most of their time staring at the hourglass whereas a
    windows 95 user could get some usefull work done with a pentium I.

    Unless, of course, you supply Vista with at least 6 ghz of processor, 4GB
    of ram, etc.
     
    AZ Nomad, Mar 10, 2007
    #25
  6. Stephen Blackpool

    Larry Bud Guest

    On Mar 10, 11:30 pm, user <> wrote:
    > HeyBub wrote:
    >
    > > They could, but they don't. If you can point to one single monopoly that HAS
    > > raised prices in a captive market, I'd be surprised (except for professional
    > > sports and government-sanction monopolies like utilities).

    >
    > Microsoft, and with Vista


    LOL!!!! I didn't know Bill Gates was holding you down making you
    purchase Vista!
     
    Larry Bud, Mar 11, 2007
    #26
  7. Stephen Blackpool

    mm Guest

    On Sat, 10 Mar 2007 17:55:22 -0500, "justadilettante"
    <> wrote:

    >That person is there to deter shoplifters from walking out the "in" door
    >with merchandise. The credit cards are just gravy....


    OK, that's better. Thanks. (I still wish she wouldn't talk to me.)

    >
    >"mm" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> On Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:19:35 -0600, clifto <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Mitch wrote:
    >>>> At least you have choices. In my small town, all we have is a
    >>>> Menard's. Staffed only by retarded teenagers who avoid customer
    >>>> contact at all costs.
    >>>
    >>>I have to say that the Menard's stores near me have people who go out of
    >>>their way to make sure you're finding what you're looking for, almost
    >>>to the point of wishing they'd ignore you.
    >>>
    >>>Almost. :)

    >>
    >> I'm like Goldilocks. I don't like it when I can't find anyone, nor
    >> when they are always talking to me.
    >>
    >> I really don't like it when someone greets me at HD at the door to
    >> sell me a credit card.
    >>
    >> First, she ruins the fantasy I'm having about all the great hardware I
    >> will but and build great things with. Or at least I forget what I
    >> came there for.
    >>
    >> Second, the rates are outrageous and she'd do me more good working on
    >> the floor. They have someone there about 2/3rds of the time.

    >
     
    mm, Mar 11, 2007
    #27
  8. Stephen Blackpool

    mm Guest

    On Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:01:45 -0500, curmudgeon
    <> wrote:

    >Some stress customer service


    >and some stress paint cans perfectly aligned.


    I really like that. I'm trying to learn how to do my soup cans at
    home.
     
    mm, Mar 11, 2007
    #28
  9. "mm" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:01:45 -0500, curmudgeon
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>Some stress customer service

    >
    >>and some stress paint cans perfectly aligned.

    >
    > I really like that. I'm trying to learn how to do my soup cans at
    > home.


    How about one of those laser things for installing things nice & level? You
    could buy one at Home Despot.
     
    JoeSpareBedroom, Mar 11, 2007
    #29
  10. Well, as I recall, and it's been a few years now, I couldn't have my
    girl Rachael and then I falls into a hole in the ground but now I work
    at the Home Depot.
     
    Stephen Blackpool, Mar 11, 2007
    #30
  11. Stephen Blackpool

    rivahrebel Guest

    I find that basic hardware items are unavailable at my local HD's. I guess
    the lack of ability to make big profits on such items as steel rivets keeps
    HD from stocking them. It's really bad when it's easier to start out
    shopping at a small hardware store 15 miles away rather than checking at the
    local HD about 2 miles away because usually the HD either won't have or
    doesn't stock what you need.
     
    rivahrebel, Mar 11, 2007
    #31
  12. Stephen Blackpool

    user Guest

    Re: Is Home Depot shafting shoppers? "Home Depot is a consistentabuser of its customers' time."

    HeyBub wrote:

    >
    > They could, but they don't. If you can point to one single monopoly that HAS
    > raised prices in a captive market, I'd be surprised (except for professional
    > sports and government-sanction monopolies like utilities).
    >


    Microsoft, and with Vista
     
    user, Mar 11, 2007
    #32
  13. Stephen Blackpool

    Drastic91 Guest

    On Mar 10, 10:38 pm, "rivahrebel" <> wrote:
    > I find that basic hardware items are unavailable at my local HD's. I guess
    > the lack of ability to make big profits on such items as steel rivets keeps
    > HD from stocking them. It's really bad when it's easier to start out
    > shopping at a small hardware store 15 miles away rather than checking at the
    > local HD about 2 miles away because usually the HD either won't have or
    > doesn't stock what you need.


    I have a love/hate relationship with Home Depot. I love it because it
    is convenient and they carry many common items that you need for a
    home. I hate them because of the service that they provide. I asked
    a guy where I could find three prong outlets and he commented that I
    could have just broken off the third prong and it would have worked.
    Not all of them are that bad but its hard to find good help. I tend
    to go to Lowes when I am shopping for anything that I feel would look
    good in the home such as lighting and crown moulding. I go to Home
    Depot when I am fixing a wall or repairing pipes.
     
    Drastic91, Mar 11, 2007
    #33
  14. Stephen Blackpool

    Matt Barrow Guest

    "JoeSpareBedroom" <> wrote in message
    news:Y9kIh.4597$...
    > "Matt Barrow" <mbarrow@site_fill.com> wrote in message
    > news:v7kIh.15238$...
    >>
    >> "JoeSpareBedroom" <> wrote in message
    >> news:IIiIh.4581$...
    >>> "Stephen Blackpool" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:...
    >>>> March 8, 2007
    >>>> Is Home Depot shafting shoppers?
    >>>> http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/HomeDepotShaftingShoppers.aspx?GT1=9215
    >>>>
    >>>> By cutting back on employees, the home-improvement retailer is putting
    >>>> the screws to the people it needs most: its customers.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Let me get this straight: Brain-dead customers can't figure out how to
    >>> open the yellow pages and find a hardware store, lumber yard, plumbing
    >>> store, lighting store, or garden center, any of which will give better
    >>> advice and often have better prices than Home Despot, and this is Home
    >>> Despot's fault? Not the fault of brain dead parents who were too busy
    >>> watching 200 channels of cable to to get off their fat, lazy asses and
    >>> teach their kids how to find a merchant in the phone book?
    >>>
    >>> They live with their kids for 18 years or longer, and no time to teach
    >>> something easy like this?

    >>
    >> You've never run a business, have you?

    >
    >
    > Matter of fact, yes. How do you feel your question relates to the fact
    > that some people somehow reach adulthood with virtually no resources?


    That you blame the problem on the customers.

    So typically American.
     
    Matt Barrow, Mar 11, 2007
    #34
  15. Stephen Blackpool

    Deke Guest

    Put my vote for the store doing it right.

    Their only reason for existence in this world is to turn a profit.

    There is little profit in a box store hiring employees to answer dumb
    consumer questions. Let the consumer hire a professional to train
    them.

    I'm on home depots side in this battle.





    On 9 Mar 2007 11:08:37 -0800, "Stephen Blackpool"
    <> wrote:

    >March 8, 2007
    >Is Home Depot shafting shoppers?
    >http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/HomeDepotShaftingShoppers.aspx?GT1=9215
    >
    >By cutting back on employees, the home-improvement retailer is putting
    >the screws to the people it needs most: its customers.
    >
    >By Scott Burns
    >
    >Sixteen years ago, I sent my wife a love note. It went like this:
    >
    >Carolyn: I've gone to Our Store. Be back soon. Love, Scott.
    >
    >We called Home Depot "our store" because we spent a lot of time there
    >back in 1990. We're house freaks. Wherever we go, we imagine living
    >there, owning a house or a condo. We like to remodel houses. In the
    >past 16 years we've done major work on three houses in Dallas and two
    >houses in Santa Fe, N.M.
    >
    >But I have a confession to make. I still love my wife, but we don't
    >shop much at Home Depot anymore. Indeed, we generally try to avoid it
    >and grieve for the loss.
    >
    >We're not alone. Last month Home Depot announced a whopping 28%
    >decline in earnings for the fourth quarter. Even more striking, same-
    >store sales were down 6.6% from the previous year. This had never
    >happened before, not in all 28 years of company history. Once a growth
    >darling, "the new Wal-Mart (WMT, news, msgs)" and a stock that sold at
    >twice the market multiple, Home Depot is now widely discussed as a
    >potential private-equity buyout candidate because it earns 22% on
    >shareholder equity and has lots of assets to hock. Today it sells at a
    >below-market multiple of 14.4 and offers an above-average dividend
    >yield of 2.2%.
    >
    >Much of the recent disappointment in the stock is due to the slowdown
    >in housing and the reassessment many are making of homes as an
    >investment. With home resale prices flat to declining, many homeowners
    >are reconsidering the kind of home-improvement projects that make for
    >multiple visits and big spending.
    >
    >Home Depot rival Lowe's reported an earnings drop of 12% for the
    >fourth quarter.
    >
    >Some of the less recent disappointment in Home Depot shares is due to
    >the egregious compensation of its former CEO and his high-handed
    >treatment of shareholders.
    >
    >Consistent abuser of customers' time.
    >========================
    >
    >But I'd like to suggest a much bigger reason that Home Depot has
    >become a troubled and unloved company. I call it time abuse.
    >
    >Home Depot is a consistent abuser of its customers' time. Let me
    >explain.
    >
    >Back in 1990, when my wife and I loved Home Depot, the stores were
    >staffed with well-trained, knowledgeable and helpful people. If you
    >had a question, even a silly one, it was easy to find someone who knew
    >the answer. Home Depot had an amazing inventory. It also had a staff
    >that helped you access that inventory and make choices.
    >
    >Though it didn't have employees waiting at the door, as do high-
    >service stores such as Elliot's in Dallas and Big Jo in Santa Fe, you
    >could make a purchase quickly at Home Depot.
    >
    >But that was then.
    >
    >Today, it is difficult to find a staff person at a Home Depot.
    >Personally, I've left the store empty-handed after a hopeless wait.
    >During one long wait shortly before Christmas, I commented to a worker
    >that the store was so busy they must be getting lots of overtime.
    >
    >"No way," the employee said.
    >
    >My wife has gotten so frustrated waiting -- while trying to buy
    >carpeting for an entire house -- that she has taken her business
    >elsewhere.
    >
    >I know we're not alone. One of my friends started to seethe when I
    >mentioned Home Depot. He'll buy things almost anywhere, except Home
    >Depot. He hates having his time abused.
    >
    >Add people to the payroll
    >================
    >
    >That's what Home Depot does by short-staffing. It abuses our time. We
    >can't get the help we need, and we can't make our purchases quickly.
    >The result is that a once iconic, wonderfully American store has
    >become an aggravation rather than a blessing.
    >
    >Home Depot is not unique. Many supermarket chains and some of the
    >large department stores appear to have decided that short-staffing is
    >the way to meet their profit plans, hoping to drop more dollars to
    >their bottom lines by stealing our time at the checkout counter or
    >elsewhere.
    >
    >My bet is that a few years from now someone will give this a clever
    >name, like "millennial myopia" or some other phrase suitable for the
    >Harvard Business Review. Until then, the investment bankers will be
    >working on different ways to solve the share price problem with
    >financial moves.
    >
    >Let's hope the board of directors at HD takes the time to learn what's
    >obvious to ordinary people who do a lot for themselves and need to
    >make good use of their time.
    >
    >The solution is to add people to the payroll rather than reducing both.
     
    Deke, Mar 11, 2007
    #35
  16. Stephen Blackpool

    Guest

    I used to like the Home Depot stores also, but after I started going
    down to the stores looking for sale items from the weekly flyer and
    finding that they would have to raincheck or special order almost
    everything that I was looking for I just started going down to Lowe's
    with the home depot flyer for a price match because they actually had
    the items in stock.
    I expect with the housing slowdown Home Depot will start to feel the
    pinch and eventually go the route of the old HQ Wearhouse chain. Some
    people will say no way but when you see them starting to scale back on
    employees then it won't be long before they start shutting down less
    productive stores but they won't call it that they will call it
    consolidation of market area.
    I'm quite happy with the service I get at my Lowe's store people are
    always asking me if I need help and assisting me with my purchase.
    Lowe's seems to have their act togeather by actually providing what
    you want when you need it. Home Depot just puts out commercials.
     
    , Mar 11, 2007
    #36
  17. "Matt Barrow" <mbarrow@site_fill.com> wrote in message
    news:3yOIh.63117$...
    >
    > "JoeSpareBedroom" <> wrote in message
    > news:Y9kIh.4597$...
    >> "Matt Barrow" <mbarrow@site_fill.com> wrote in message
    >> news:v7kIh.15238$...
    >>>
    >>> "JoeSpareBedroom" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:IIiIh.4581$...
    >>>> "Stephen Blackpool" <> wrote in message
    >>>> news:...
    >>>>> March 8, 2007
    >>>>> Is Home Depot shafting shoppers?
    >>>>> http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/HomeDepotShaftingShoppers.aspx?GT1=9215
    >>>>>
    >>>>> By cutting back on employees, the home-improvement retailer is putting
    >>>>> the screws to the people it needs most: its customers.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> Let me get this straight: Brain-dead customers can't figure out how to
    >>>> open the yellow pages and find a hardware store, lumber yard, plumbing
    >>>> store, lighting store, or garden center, any of which will give better
    >>>> advice and often have better prices than Home Despot, and this is Home
    >>>> Despot's fault? Not the fault of brain dead parents who were too busy
    >>>> watching 200 channels of cable to to get off their fat, lazy asses and
    >>>> teach their kids how to find a merchant in the phone book?
    >>>>
    >>>> They live with their kids for 18 years or longer, and no time to teach
    >>>> something easy like this?
    >>>
    >>> You've never run a business, have you?

    >>
    >>
    >> Matter of fact, yes. How do you feel your question relates to the fact
    >> that some people somehow reach adulthood with virtually no resources?

    >
    > That you blame the problem on the customers.
    >
    > So typically American.
    >


    Think harder, and spend more time reading newsgroup questions. Here's what
    you'll find out:

    - There are people who have never set foot in a hardware store or specialty
    store (appliances, lighting, plumbing, etc), and it's NOT always because all
    the specialty stores have vanished from their towns. They seem to believe
    that if the employees aren't wearing little aprons, then the specialty
    stores must be intended for contractors only.

    - There are people who think that if they have a problem with Home Depot,
    the solution is to go to Lowe's. Or, complain about it here. Some people are
    not capable of devising another solution.

    - There are people who apparently don't know that you can open the yellow
    pages phone book and find businesses in it. Right here in this newsgroup,
    I've seen people say "Thanks. That's actually a good idea. I'll try it". Are
    we dealing with children here?

    So, tell me: Who do YOU blame for creating humans who are so unresourceful?
    Advertising that makes the big box stores seem like the only source for
    every damned thing? Maybe. But, I choose to lay much of the blame on
    parents. I would like to hear YOUR theory, though.


    Hint: Since the year 2000, there have been two reasonably accurate surveys
    in this country which indicate that about 54% of the population is stupid
    and docile.
     
    JoeSpareBedroom, Mar 11, 2007
    #37
  18. "JoeSpareBedroom" <> wrote in message
    > - There are people who have never set foot in a hardware store or
    > specialty store (appliances, lighting, plumbing, etc), and it's NOT always
    > because all the specialty stores have vanished from their towns. They seem
    > to believe that if the employees aren't wearing little aprons, then the
    > specialty stores must be intended for contractors only.


    In addition, they have been conditioned to think that the big box stores
    have the best prices for everything. That is far from the truth. Their
    service is often second rate also., if you need appliance repair or fast
    delivery.

    Going back 10 or more years, the local appliance store was often priced
    higher and maybe even a little arrogant. Most of those dealers imploded,
    the rest formed buying co-operatives and now compete very nicely with price
    and usually have superior service.
     
    Edwin Pawlowski, Mar 11, 2007
    #38
  19. Stephen Blackpool

    Big_Jake Guest

    On Mar 10, 9:09 am, Mitch <Mitch@...> wrote:
    > At least you have choices. In my small town, all we have is a
    > Menard's. Staffed only by retarded teenagers who avoid customer
    > contact at all costs.


    Sorry to hear about your experience with Menards. I have probably
    purchased over $100K from them in the past 10 years. They continually
    surprise me with their knowledge and their "depth of stock",
    especially in engineered lumber products. They never surprise me with
    their prices, which are nearly always way better than Lowe's or Home
    Desperate. Better still, here they honor "pocket peelers" - A 10% off
    coupon booklet for Home Depot.

    Hopefully things will improve for you. Be careful what you wish for,
    though. Lowes or Home Depot won't be the answer...

    JK
     
    Big_Jake, Mar 11, 2007
    #39
  20. Stephen Blackpool

    George Guest

    Re: Is Home Depot shafting shoppers? "Home Depot is a consistentabuser of its customers' time."

    Deke wrote:
    > Put my vote for the store doing it right.
    >
    > Their only reason for existence in this world is to turn a profit.
    >
    > There is little profit in a box store hiring employees to answer dumb
    > consumer questions. Let the consumer hire a professional to train
    > them.
    >
    > I'm on home depots side in this battle.
    >


    But what about the extensive spin they do that all of their employees
    are experts waiting for us to pull into the parking lot?
     
    George, Mar 11, 2007
    #40
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