Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Room for home improvement retail

May 30, 2008

acesmall.gifHome improvement consumers have spoken, and their choice of top retailer might surprise you.

Ace Hardware, the hardware cooperative with 4,600 stores, ranked highest in home improvement customer satisfaction for the second straight year, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study.

The 2008 study, conducted in March and April, tracked satisfaction with merchandise, price, sales staff, sales/promotions and store facility. Findings are based on responses from 9,770 consumers who bought a home improvement product or service within the past year.

Illinois-based Ace scored 791 points out of a possible 1,000 and rated high on sales staff and store facility measures.

Lowe’s came in second with a score of 784, followed by privately held Menards at 779. True Value, another cooperative, rated 774 on the satisfaction index. Home Depot, the biggest home improvement retailer, had a score of 753 and trailed Sears, which scored 767.

lowes1.JPGLowe’s stood out for its merchandise, while Menards got high marks on price and promotions, the information services company said.

“Home Depot ranks lowest overall in our study primarily in its performance in the sales staff and store facility categories,” said Dale Haines, senior director of the retail and construction practice at J.D. Power.

Shareholders of Home Depot complained at last week’s annual meeting that finding goods on store shelves and workers to help customers was difficult. The company responded by saying it has stepped up store maintenance and hired electricians and other skilled staff.

As consumers pressed by higher gasoline and food prices spend less, service can be a key factor in determining where they’ll shop. “Retailers who are competing for that shrinking source of revenue can differentiate themselves by focusing on providing superior levels of customer service,” Haines said.

Meanwhile, Lowe’s told its shareholders on Friday that it was confident that it will rack up market share gains this year even as the slumping U.S. housing market continues to pressure sales.

“In a tough environment, great companies look for opportunities to strengthen their business,” Lowe’s Chairman Robert Niblock said.

(Photos: Ace Hardware and Lowe’s)


That’s the way we would have voted and seems to be the way our friends feel.

Posted by DonS | Report as abusive

This is discusting and these are things us as HD associates need to look at and try to turn this around. The Home Depot was built on customer service and now we are losing it. We need to get back to our roots and relize that our customers are the one’s that give us a pay check. We are down in hours but the more customer service that we give the more sale’s we get. More sale’s that we get the more hours on the floor that we will get. Time to stop cring and complaining and time to do something about it


Anyone have heard about new Home Renovation Tax Credit ?????


“The company responded by saying it has stepped up store maintenance and hired electricians and other skilled staff.”

Are they serious?


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