Big Box Store Grudge Match

Home Depot is ubiquitous. They have quite a few stores near where I live and work, so I’ve probably been inside four of their big box stores within the past year—five if you count their EXPO design center. Generally, each store carries a broad range of building supplies. I rarely find that they don’t have an item I need in stock. So, I’ve never really had the need to stop into Lowe’s, until recently.

I was looking for an exterior fluorescent lamp—the cheaper the better. And, I couldn’t find one at Home Depot. So, I popped into Lowe’s and wow! At least in terms of exterior lighting, they had a wider selection than Home Depot. They also had someone physically manning a station in the lighting section. No searching down each aisle looking for someone with an orange apron. This was the real deal.

The other thing I noticed was the check registers. They had a lot of check registers open. At Home Depot, I’ve usually seen 1 manned register open along with four self-serve registers. More than once, I’ve been stuck waiting a long time in line. No three’s a crowd. No opening a new register. I really don’t understand this. When you have someone already in line, ready to hand over their money, why hassle them? If I have to wait in a long time, I occasionally will just leave and come back during an off hour to complete my purchase.

I’ll still be going back on Home Depot just because their locations are more convenient. Can’t wait until Lowe’s builds out more stores to give Home Depot a run for their money. Competition is always good for the consumer, and Home Depot has been unchallenged for quite some time now.

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