Home Depot – Then vs Now

About 12 years ago, I bought my first house.  It was a fixer-upper of sorts, and I did all the fixing myself from paint to hardwood floors to new doors and adding a closet or two.  Nothing terribly major.  To do the work, I was at Home Depot a lot.  And I do mean ‘a lot’ – as I was on a first-name basis with several of the employees there 🙂  It was a great store, and I liked it a lot.

With my recent home purchase, I’m back at Home Depot a lot.  About 3-4 times a week.  It’s still a good store.  It’s bigger.  It’s got more choices.  But, I find I don’t like it as much.  There are three things that aren’t as good as they used to be at the big HD.

Self Checkout
Am I the only one that loathes self-checkout?  At Home Depot, they basically don’t have anything else anymore.  They have one line for the folks getting lumber (which is usually very long), and they have 4 self-checkout counters.  These things are slow and I hate them.  As you wait in line you can see the confusion and frustration that others have too.  Is this really a good way to go? 

Long Lines
You’d think with all the checkout people freed up due to self-checkout, there would be more help available in the store.  But there isn’t.  It’s still hard to find anyone to help, and when you do, there is usually a line.  I was excited the other day when an employee actually approached me!  My excitement faded quickly when I learned she only wanted to offer me a 10% discount if I signed up for a Home Depot credit card. 

Too Big
I actually do find the store to be too big now. It seems the stuff I want is always at one side of the store, the checkout is at the other, and my car is parked back at the original side.  The store is larger than a football field; it’s just massive.  If they didn’t have such good product choice, I’d probably complain about that – but instead I’m complaining about this. Can’t win!

I’ve recently learned about Lowe’s – and I’m planning to try it (I know, I’m behind the times, it seems).  It’s farther from my house, but looks promising.

3 thoughts on “Home Depot – Then vs Now

  • April 2, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    my praise is that home depot is always coming out with cool home electrinic’s, the only think i don’t think the employees’ know who keeps there check coming, due to fact that when one for example go in the store ask questions about pumping or where is the hardware, you have to wait to ask the question until the employee finishes telling the joke to the other employee or gossip or what ever but the conversation was not about work! Yes they have to spend all day there at home depot but their job i would think is to serve and inform clients,i have not once been asked if i needed help load may items, and i have purchased thousands of dollars at that store, its people like me that just leave and don’t come back, so i hope someone at the top understands that if you don’t hire friendly people, with a welcome face and a 10 foot rule to be eforced, because no company or empire is invinsible!
    here’s hoping the depot change’s it’s ways!

  • September 10, 2008 at 11:07 am

    To me, this seems like valuable information. You should really write a letter to Home Depot’s CEO, Frank Blake. You should be able to find an address on the Investor Relations section of the website. Send him a certified letter, and I’m sure you’ll get a prompt, rewarding response for your feedback. Not to mention, how can they improve if they don’t know customers feel the way you do?

  • October 23, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    I can speak first hand about HD and the history behind this retailer. I’ve sold them, shipped product to them and supported there stores with stocking shelves. I’m now a HD associate and I hope that Mr. Blake will get it right. When Bernie Marcus & Arthur Blank ran the stores they got of the Corp. Tower and visited stores with out stores even knowing it. They found out right away what the H— was going on in stores on a day to day. I hope they return to those days of good retail management. To many great associates left to go to Lowes because of Nardelli. We must hope that some of the new talent coming from closing Home improvement companies don’t get the shaft from current managers. I have over 20 yrs in this industry and I can tell you that if they can recoginze my talent early I’ll be back on the vendor side as a VP of Sales. for three times I’m Making at the HD. I’m customer friendly and know how to help the consumer. Anyway, let hope that Mr. Blake start’s a journey in retail by getting out of the office and visiting as many store as he can. That’s the way you learn retail. You need to talk to Associates and most of all customers.


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