Do you have a favorite hardware store?
Many of us ladies share a love for certain clothing, shoes and accessories stores. (My favorites are New York & Company, Gap, LOFT and Old Navy, in case you are wondering.) But, for those of us who also strap on a (literal or figurative) tool belt now and then, do you have a favorite hardware store?
I have very strong feelings associated with our local hardware stores and I wonder whether this is normal. Since we are increasing the amount of time spent perusing paint, tools and building supplies, I’ve been thinking about why we choose to go to the stores we do.
This was escalated when Ryan told me that my favorite hardware store was really targeted towards women and his favorite was a “man-store.”
My views (take them or leave them):
We never shop at the local True Value. I would love to love the store, because it’s owned locally. But, during our first renovation, I was treated incredibly poorly by management and left the store crying. (I know, ridiculous.) So it will be a long while (and probably never) before I return. It’s really unfortunate, because I read so many wonderful things about other True Values, and it’s clear that it’s only the local ownership that is the issue.
I really liked Ace Hardware and found the staff to be friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. But, their prices were noticeably higher than other stores and they went out of business last year.
We rarely shop at Lowe’s. Nothing personal, but it’s a bit longer (as in 10 more minutes) drive and we are NEVER able to find someone to help us. Never. Maybe it’s just us – a plague of sorts. We’re the Lowe’s lepers. The exceptions – appliances and garden center. However, it’s not often that we visit Lowe’s.
I hate wandering aisles to find help, and I have a tendency to need help in a hardware store. (I can’t count the number of times I’ve walked into a hardware store, made a beeline to an associate with the type of screw/nail/board/tool that I need and politely asked where to find it. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why they avoid me.) 😉
We love Menards. (And, I honestly feel sad for those of you who don’t have a Menards close by. You just don’t know what you are missing.)
L-O-V-E. Their prices are low, they have a ridiculous number of rebates (just yesterday we came home with 12 bottles of paintable caulk, free after rebate) and we can always find someone to help us. Friendly people, who actually walk us to where we need to go and give us tips and ideas. We spend little time waiting in line. They also carry nearly everything we need and it’s uber-close to our house, which is a bonus.
And, as an aside, they have a lumber yard that is NOT inside. I’ve never understood indoor lumberyards. You have to load it all onto a cart and drag it to the car yourself. Which would be fine if you need one sheet of plywood, but not so much when you need to build a fence or a garage. At Menards, you swing around back and someone helps you load it up. So much simpler. (And, no, Menards isn’t paying us for this. Although Ryan did moonlight there years back and we’d love to be their new company spokescouple. So, they can call us anytime.)
However, Menards has a new competitor in Woodward-ville:
Oh, Home Depot, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Your store is so lovely. The layout is intuitive. The garden center is well-stocked and pretty. There are so many nice displays to ogle at. Martha Stewart resides there. And, your staff… The staff is fabulous, rivaling Menards.
I love nothing more than getting to know store associates, and after only a few visits, the folks in the paint department would ask me about past projects. That’s all this egomaniac needs to feel welcome. I particularly love the staff in the paint area, and I’m obsessed with Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint (first used in our kitchen). Since it’s only sold at the Depot (my pet name for HD), I’ve decided that it’s my new second home.
I actually wouldn’t mind spending a Friday night at Home Depot, perusing the aisles. You know, hypothetically. Not that we did that last weekend.
So, when Ryan and I were discussing hardware store preferences, he concluded that Home Depot is built for the ladies and Menards for the men. He says that Home Depot targets women with eye-catching displays and Martha Stewart. That would mean that the no-frills Menards is geared towards men with little pomp and circumstance.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite hardware store?
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