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#4727358 - 04/15/18 05:54 AM Hardware store of choice?
Dumc87 Offline


Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 591
Loc: Florida
In my pursuit of a career, I was recently hired on as a Manager Trainee for 84 Lumber. Not a spectacular job to start, but as far as I can tell, is a great starting point for someone in my shoes. 1-2 year training, then relocating to manage or co-manage a shop of my own. The last few months I've been working for Lowe's (left Pepboys after four months, spent 10 years at my employer before that) so this has me curious about everyone's experience either shopping or working for home improvement/hardware stores?

Do you prefer ACE, Home Depot, Lowe's, 84 Lumber, TrueValue? If possible, I'd love to support mom and pop stores, but they are far and few between where I am at. There is a place called Pat's that sells all kinds of discounted home improvement goods. I plan on shopping there more when I have expendable income to work on some projects.
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#4727362 - 04/15/18 06:17 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: Dumc87]
FordBroncoVWJeta Offline


Registered: 04/16/16
Posts: 789
Loc: KS
I have heard all of those Hardware stores besides 84 Lumber. I guess they don't exist up here. I have no preference, just who can get me the best deal!
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#4727363 - 04/15/18 06:19 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: Dumc87]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10077
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
Congratulations and best of luck.

My experience in the 1960's was that 84 Lumber was one of the only places to get lumber. There were a couple of lumber yards locally but, they were locally owned yards with 1 or 2 stores. We had or still have, Ridge Lumber, Exchange Lumber, Chase-Pitkin, Mathews & Fields but, they're only local. We've also had Mr.2nds(a.k.a. Lumber Liquidators).

Since then, we've had our furry of chain home improvement stores come & go. HD, Ace, Lowe's etc. are the ones that have lasted and are nation wide. So, these are the stores that I most frequent unless I need something special that the BIG BOX doesn't carry.
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#4727375 - 04/15/18 06:38 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: Char Baby]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5435
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
Supporting a "Mom & Pop" store has little or nothing to do with your situation.

Big stores have been known to over expand (Lowe's in Ticonderoga, NY) and "M&Ps" can just fold when the elder dies.

We have one of the very best family run hardware stores near me. It bore their name.
It tried to go "True Value" but the wares were shoddy. That was dumped for "Ace".
The shop is again strong.

How many of those are out there for you to consider them as career models is questionable.

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#4727384 - 04/15/18 06:56 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: Dumc87]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5844
Loc: Michigan
Usually Ace Hardware. I need something small and it is a quick in and out. Also the employees are always ready to help almost the minute you enter the store.
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#4727387 - 04/15/18 06:57 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
Dumc87 Offline


Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 591
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: FordBroncoVWJeta
I have heard all of those Hardware stores besides 84 Lumber. I guess they don't exist up here. I have no preference, just who can get me the best deal!


There should be in in Lenexa and Kansas City. They cater more to contractors and subcontactors than individuals. HD and Lowe's have the "average Joe" market locked down.
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#4727392 - 04/15/18 07:02 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: ZZman]
Dumc87 Offline


Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 591
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: ZZman
Usually Ace Hardware. I need something small and it is a quick in and out. Also the employees are always ready to help almost the minute you enter the store.


I didn't understand how Ace was superior in customer service until I started working at Lowes.

I usually work as a cashier in Lawn and Garden, but when I go on break or go to the bathroom, a customer will see me walk by and presume I'm a specialist in the department I am walking by. Most people don't like to hear that I don't know everything about a store that has millions of items in stock LOL but that's the thing, Lowes is HUGE versus the smaller, more specialized inventory that ACE would carry. It's easier and more accessible for an employee at ACE to know about the store in it's entirety than it is for someone at Lowes, especially one who is primarily a cashier.

It's also hard to keep some of these stores employed. The wages won't attract "specialists" but the store requires people with above average work ethic willing to learn the store and/or departments. I myself have gotten compliments on my willingness to go above and beyond, yet I am leaving the store for a better opportunity.

So long story short, if you need specialist advice, I wouldn't recommend going to Lowes or Home Depot; however if you need general help and need a variety of items at a reasonable price, Lowes is your place. Nothing against HD, I'm just partial to Lowes, even before I started working there.


Edited by Dumc87 (04/15/18 07:03 AM)
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#4727398 - 04/15/18 07:14 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: Dumc87]
Bud Offline


Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 1760
Loc: Texas
I shop at Lowes. Automatic 10% military discount year around.
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#4727400 - 04/15/18 07:16 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: Dumc87]
MuzzleFlash40 Offline


Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 1162
Loc: SE Ohio
Our local ACE is awesome, we try to go there for most everything.
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#4727403 - 04/15/18 07:23 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: Dumc87]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32774
Loc: ME
ACE HQ knows how to stock actually useful stuff. Cheap- and high-grade fasteners in SAE, metric, and fine thread. The franchise fees are probably higher than True Value or Trustworthy but it's worth it to have return customers, IMO.

They pack a lot of stuff in 5000-10000 sq feet.

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#4727405 - 04/15/18 07:24 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: Dumc87]
GrtArtiste Online   content


Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 733
Loc: Ohio
Due to location, I usually end up at Menard's but occasionally have gone to Lowe's or HD for a better deal. They're all pretty much the same.

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#4727411 - 04/15/18 07:30 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: Dumc87]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4501
Loc: The Midwest
There is a huge variation in the independently owned Ace, True Value and "Do It Best" hardware stores.
There are two stand out locally owned hard stores in my county: Nutter Hardware and Roush Hardware.
Roush hardware owns a Honda auto dealer behind the hardware store.

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#4727436 - 04/15/18 07:58 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: ZZman]
BlueOvalFitter Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 6003
Loc: Cajun Country, La.
Originally Posted By: ZZman
Usually Ace Hardware. I need something small and it is a quick in and out. Also the employees are always ready to help almost the minute you enter the store.

Where I live, the nearest hardware store is 15 miles away. It's an ACE hardware. And, VERY FRIENDLY! These employees are tripping over themselves with great manners. And, they are VERY knowledgeable.
HOME DEPOT is about 56 miles away. I prefer it over the other big box hardware stores. BTW, La. used to have 84 LUMBER stores. FL. still has them. Well, in Tampa Bay area anyway.

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#4727442 - 04/15/18 08:03 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: Bud]
BlueOvalFitter Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 6003
Loc: Cajun Country, La.
Originally Posted By: Bud
I shop at Lowes. Automatic 10% military discount year around.

Really? I didn't know this. I will keep this in mind.
BTW, what kind of proof do I need to show I'm a Veteran?

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#4727443 - 04/15/18 08:03 AM Re: Hardware store of choice? [Re: BlueOvalFitter]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6539
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: BlueOvalFitter
Originally Posted By: ZZman
Usually Ace Hardware. I need something small and it is a quick in and out. Also the employees are always ready to help almost the minute you enter the store.

Where I live, the nearest hardware store is 15 miles away. It's an ACE hardware. And, VERY FRIENDLY! These employees are tripping over themselves with great manners. And, they are VERY knowledgeable.
HOME DEPOT is about 56 miles away. I prefer it over the other big box hardware stores. BTW, La. used to have 84 LUMBER stores. FL. still has them. Well, in Tampa Bay area anyway.


Same here … every time I’m hearing folks that don’t have a good “mom & pop” I think of how our hardware store is a mix of both … solid owners and staff … but the buying power of a large chain.

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