Home Depot still doesn’t get it.

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Home Depot still doesn’t get it
I'm Homer D. Poe

How does the world largest remodeling sales outfit miss the target with commercial sales?

By The Paul

I have had a HD credit card for years, it’s probably expired because in 12 years I haven’t used it. I tried 2 orders from HD years ago and didn’t want to deal with them again. Sure I’ll buy screws or light bulbs if they are close by but they are never a first choice shopping place for me.

When you enter Home Depot you may pass a greeter, fine. Why contractors would care about this escapes me. But it’s not a bad thing, it’s just useless.

What about the Contractor desk? Last week after not using HD for contractor sales for over 10 years I give them a call. It took 4 people to finally get someone who worked in lumber, unfortunately they didn’t know that treated lumber is not all the same. I moved on and bought materials for a 400 square foot deck and siding for a home I’m remodeling, I purchased from another lumber yard. They knew the products and ordering and delivery went well, they also pick up left over materials.

At the HD Contractor desk which was loaded with homeowners the cashier woman lets me know she is tired and also offers me a little illumination, she says “I hate contractors, they think they are special”. Duh! Without playing my hand I respond “They are special, they buy a lot of stuff and are fast to work with”. This has no effect on her because she hates contractors and wishes they would buy stuff somewhere else, hey girl, we do!

Last, I am driving to a job site and listening to the radio, a Home Depot ad comes on, “Contractors, we have rolled back our prices so you can lower yours”? Just what I need, a big box store telling my customers that HD gives me a discount so I can give them (the customers) that money back.

Let me get this right,

I waste time ordering, employees are little help, and it’s generally an amateur event, and now I can lower my prices to make less money.

Home Depot, you have lots of smart people running your very successful organization, but where the rubber hits the road you’re clueless.

I’m not angry at HD, they are who they are and I’ll just keep buying light bulbs from them and building supplies from lumber yards.

Update to Home Depot

Remodel Crazy has received messages from contractors happy with their Home Depot service, and messages that were delivered by angry contractors. It is turning out that some Home Depot stores do a much better job than other stores, sometime stores only a mile away.

To be fair to HD

We have had some happy customers report to us.

The big picture

For Home Depot to continue to grow it will need more professional sales, but there is a problem here with their growth because HD also needs to grow installed sales, this means taking market share from contractors.

Hmmm! They need more contractor sales but need more market share from the contractors they want to sell to? What’s that old story, the one about the goose that laid golden eggs?

5 COMMENTS

  1. I agree on all fronts.

    Lowes is the same way. I needed some screws to install some cabinets today. I knew exactly what I wanted. 2 1/2″ and 3″ square drive cabinet screws.

    I spent about 7 minutes going up and down the fastner isle trying to find my screws. Not one time did I see some one in that department to help me.

    I finally went over to the millwork department and asked a guy that was just standing at the desk if anyone was working in the hardware department today. He said he was, so I told him what I was looking for and he meandered over to the fastner isle and started looking in the same areas I was looking.

    After a few minutes of digging through boxes there, he turns to me and hands me a box of phillip drive drywall screws. These will work, he proudly says.

    No I want square drive cabinet screws or at the very least phillips drive cabinet screws. I’m not going to trust a wall cabinet loaded down with dishes to some drywall screws. So he takes me over to the small packages of screws and trys to sell me some #8 wood screws that come 8 to a package. I finally had enough and just walked out.

    The whole reason I stopped in there was to save me the 15 minute further drive to the lumber yard. By the time I got back to my truck, I had wasted over 20 minutes and had nothing to show for it. I ended up driving about 5 minutes down the road to Ace Hardware and getting exactly what I needed in a fraction of the time.

    At Ace it probably cost 3 times as much as it would of at my lumber yard but at least they had what I needed and their employees are standing there waiting to take you to what you need as you walk in the door.

    The only reason I ever go to the big box stores is because they seem to be on every street corner when I have a part or piece that I need to get in a jamb. And even then half the time, I leave there unsatisfied.

  2. I think one of the really unfortunate results of the big box home improvement stores is the scarcity of the small local hardware store.

    One result is the very limited selection of products that are available.

    I confess that I do stop at Lowes pretty regularly primarily because of the convenience of their early open time and long hours.

    In my mind the worst thing I have seen in a big box is the advice being given to DIYers by their employees.

    I once overheard a conversation in the tile area between an employee and a customer:

    Customer- “But after you put the cement board on the walls around the tub don’t you need to do something to make it waterproof?”

    Employee- “Uhhh…no, the cement board is made to resist moisture so you don’t need anything else.”

    I walked up and informed the customer that he should do some research because you do need waterproofing. The employee was less than appreciative, I guess making him look bad was much more important than a person having a mold free and code compliant shower.

  3. I laugh everytime I hear that commercial. Home Depot ruined our relationship years ago. In my opinion that big orange box is nothing but a waste of good real estate.

    I am convinced that their employees are trained in playing hide-n-seek and to respond to all complaints with, “It’s not my fault”.

    Home Depot’s delivery service is the worst. I swear they see a delivery as an opportunity to get rid of damaged wallboard and warped lumber.

    The last straw for me was the order they had three days to prepare. Upon my arrival, several large items were still missing and I had to bag 2 carts full of small loose items myself. Even after I requested assistance.

  4. I have had much experience with HD
    In the past I worked for their largest single customer we did about 10 mil a year with them. Our HD bill was generally over 600 pages each month.
    The contractor desk is a joke so is the contractor check out. Both are mostly used by homeowners or DIY people. The worst is standing in the contractor check out and the DIY guy in front of you asks you how to do something since you look like a pro. Generally I politely tell them that this is a line for pro’s only and please go to another register. I have even told cashiers to wait on the pro’s first and sent the homeowners away. This is our register. Usually a manager type comes over and starts telling me to wait that all customers are equal. Every time I had them look up our account and ask them how corporate would feel about losing this to Lowes it was amazing how fast a check out line was opened just for me.

  5. They will never get it. You can not have an employee work in one department for awhile and them move to another and expect them to now anything. At my local suppliers the same employees have been on the job for years and now how to solve problems. The big boxes are good for getting things after hours or for small supplies.

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