Times are hard for everyone and every business. A home center near me where my sister in law is the office manager does about 1.5 to 2 million on a good Saturday. A weekday is about 500K to 750K. This home center is off last years sales figures by 20%. They have to cut lets say 30% in Salaries to be back to where they were before the losses.
We have had a Lowes within 1 mile radius of that home center and they opened up with all this hype about customer service and shorter lines. They have been up and running for five years and they are no better than any other home center. They opened up with that saying; three or more in a line will cause another register to open and as many will open until no more than three in a line to check out. well, sounds good, but the extra cashiers were actually salespersons within departments that had to come up front and leave the department up for grabs.
So, now they are no different than the competion and even worse.
If you do the best barameter of business and count the cars in the lot, Lowes always has less at almost any given time.
In my region, Dallas Metroplex, there are smaller hardware stores that are beginning to florish. We call them parasite hardware stores. They are doing well just because home center stores are cut back so far and lines sooo long that they are going to small hardware stores to even pay more but be in and out much faster. As a contractor, waiting in a check out line is money to me and I hate it. I am on the clock when there and customers hate to see that when I give them the bill.
Now, too in my region, stealing in the lots have been such a problem that a saying goes, if you go to a home center you better have a co worker sitting in your truck while you shop or when you return your tools and stuff might be gone.
In the home center where I shop there are four undercover cops sitting in cars for just this purpose. that hourly rate is $60 an hour per cop times 8 hour day and even when open 24 hours. Wow, that has to be recouped somewhere.
So, homecenters have to get help and who is the cheapest, young inexperienced kids that do not know a hammer from a scew driver. The experienced help cannot stay because of salary or hourly demands.
I can see the entire big picture and I do hope that it changes soon. I totally rely upon the home centers for my needs other than paint. I need them and with my soo frequent trips, I know where every little thing is. But that is not the same with the occasional shopper. Things must change and the first has to be the economy and the state of affairs in our country.