Home Depot vs. Lowe's
I am not a handyman. I don’t like messing around with tools, hardware or anything of the sort. I do like to paint however, but that is what Sherwin Williams if for.
Anyway, on to the reason for the post. Today I took the family to Home Depot for a simple list of minor things. First, you need to know that I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 4 month old, so a simple trip to the store is never simple (praise God for a wonderful stay at home wife!). At Home Depot I searched and searched for some simple pieces of hardware. During that search there was not a Home Depot person in sight to help. The search ended with frustration and no hardware, so we were off to the check out lines. To top it off, there were no human registers open, only the self check out. And of course, you guessed it, they did not work properly. Scan again, place your items in the bag, take your coffee off the counter....bla, bla, bla. What a horrible experience.
So, since Home Depot did not meet my needs I decided to stop by Lowe's on the way home from work today. Now, with full disclosure I must say that I stopped at a brand new Lowe's. I must also say that I am a Home Depot stock owner so things should balance out. Anyway, at Lowe's the store was beautiful, and everything about the store was designed to make me want to spend money! A person at the door greeted me and asked if they could be of assistance, it was a much better laid out store for someone like me who knows nothing about what I am doing. The experience was incredible; so incredible I was planing on a spending about 3 dollars for this hardware and ended up spending 50 dollars! The check out was perfect! There were a few people in line, and as soon as the manager saw it backing up, 2 additional clerks showed up to make the lines go faster.
Winner: Lowe's by a long shot!
So, obviously I am just one little person blogging about this, but the funny thing about this is what I found about after doing a little research. Check this out:
Home Depot- 1,400 stores
Lowe's- 850 stores
Home Depot- $58 billion annual sales
Lowe's- $26 billion annual sales
Home Depot- 9% sales growth
Lowe's- 20% sales growth
Home Depot- 2002 earnings up 21%
Lowe's- 2002 earnings up 44%
Home Depot- Same store sales -6%
Lowe's- Same store sales 17%
I have become a Lowe's guy because of outstanding customer service, cleaner and neater stores, and bottom-line a better experience. Also, I personally think that Lowes.com is much better than HomeDepot.com. But most importantly, this little trivial post is a great learning lesson for us all. Have you looked at your company, business or church as the customer or end user. How is the experience compared to your competition. Is the service great, is it easy to find what you are looking for, etc. etc. How can we improve?