Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Shapley » Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:24 pm

I understand, but the majority seem to disagree. Bubba's Hardware has given way to Lowes. The local Bijou has been shuttered up, because everyone goes to the Multiplex 20. Jones' Dry Goods is gone, because everybody buys their clothes at Goody's, or Dress Barn, or Kohl's. Smith Shoe Shop has been lost to Payless. And on and on it goes. Larger selection, lower prices, that seems to be what the people want. It's convenient to blame Wal-Mart because they were one of the first, and they're one of the largest, but they're not the villain.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby barfle » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:02 pm

When I was in my later teens, I worked at a couple of mom and pop stores (not MY mom and pop, but they were known to have their kids fill in as needed).

Benefits? Pshaw! Minimum wage and glad to get it! Even my mother, who kept books at one of the stores, had no benefits - she was fortunate my dad did (although we were usually pretty healthy).

Even in 1966-1967, I thought the hardware store was a throwback. And I thought it was pretty darn nifty that way. He sold everything from faucets to mousetraps to motor oil. I cut and threaded iron pipe, mixed paint, made keys, sold nails by the pound and wire by the foot. We even did gift-wrapping (with a special paper if it was a wedding gift). I can't count the number of times people would come in with a seriously smelly sink trap and want it reamed out. I remember a joke about the place - if someone asked if we sold tires, our response was, "no, we're not a drug store."

Such service is rare these days, although I suspect we're paying a lot less for the stuff we get. There is a similar place in Springfield, Vahjinyah, called "Fischer's Hardware." It's a lot bigger, but the clerks are interested in giving you what you need instead of what's in stock. One of them rebuild a spigot that had me puzzled, and that's a big reason why I continue to buy from them whenever possible.

Wal-Mart. Hmmm. Not usually my favorite, but a couple of years ago, we wanted to buy a little red wagon for some of our plant shopping escapades. We figured ToysRus, but they were all in the 3-figure price range. We tried sporting goods stores, and several other places. Eventually, we broke down and went to Wal-Mart and got a steel wagon for something like $29. We probably use it once a year, but it's paid for itself in that time. A $125 wagon still wouldn't have been worth it.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby jamiebk » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:15 pm

Shapley wrote:I understand, but the majority seem to disagree. Bubba's Hardware has given way to Lowes. The local Bijou has been shuttered up, because everyone goes to the Multiplex 20. Jones' Dry Goods is gone, because everybody buys their clothes at Goody's, or Dress Barn, or Kohl's. Smith Shoe Shop has been lost to Payless. And on and on it goes. Larger selection, lower prices, that seems to be what the people want. It's convenient to blame Wal-Mart because they were one of the first, and they're one of the largest, but they're not the villain.


The question is whether they have created that market or simply reacted to it.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Shapley » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:47 pm

jamiebk wrote:The question is whether they have created that market or simply reacted to it.


I don't think it matters. If the people like it, they'll shop there. If not, they won't. The majority of people seem to prefer doing business at the big chains, or the big chains wouldn't be a threat to Mom & Pop. In the small communities, where Mom & Pop were the sole business and are now being replaced by Wal-Mart as the sole business, I would argue that trading one monopoly for another is not, in itself, a bad thing. However, it seems that, even in those communities, severa non-competing businesses follow the Wal-Mart, such that the Wal-Mart parking lot replaces the town square as the business hub. It's not that it's wrong, it just irks those who aren't progressive enough to accept that the landscape is changing.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby dai bread » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:05 pm

I still remember the Mom & Pop dairies where I was sent as a boy, and had to wait seemingly for hours while the "assistant" and customer gossiped. When supermarkets arrived with their checkout counters, I cheered.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:28 pm

Giant Communist Robot wrote:
Nicole Marie wrote:Yeah Wal Marts in CT are not looked at too highly. Most town protest when they want to build so they end up in the poorer towns and usually dont develop into the big super marts they are in some areas. Hartford let one in but it came with rules - they had to hire Hartford residence only, let them be union, proper health care etc. So when they do come into CT the towns and state nail rules onto them since they are knows for giving below average wadges and little to no health care.


With a minimum number of employees, they are guaranteed the right to unionize if they so wish. That is the law. The union has the responsibility to negotiate wages and health care. Walmart cannot dictate in this situation, only negotiate.


True but there were a few wal Marts that were making it difficult to allow people to set up unions. So the state stepped in and said the stores could not discirminate or prevent this.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Shapley » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:00 am

As The Dow Sinks, It's TIme To Praise Wal-Mart

Like it or not, Wal-Mart has remained profitable in the face of economic uncertainty. They have done so the by doing business the same way they started - bargaining for the best price from suppliers and passing the savings to their customers.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby piqaboo » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:16 am

Of mom & pop stores -
I wish I had a hardware store near by. We have an Ace now, and that's an improvement.
Home Depot is good for what its good for but as an overall source of hardware, its dreadful.
Unfortunately, the new Ace isnt much better, but its enough better.
I want to be able to buy 1, 2, 4 nails, ; show them a broken thing and get the new piece, etc. And for hardware, I will pay the extra because it stresses me out.

One-off stores are good for clothes too.
But for books, much as I love the idea of mom and pop stores, I shiver at the extra cost.
and for toiletries, I make a pilgrimage to Walmart. My preferred brand of age reduction is 15% cheaper, so I save 5 bucks there, a couple times a year.
Then I drop the $ at the local diner, which is a mom&pop place too (note - excellent for breakfast, but not to be considered for lunch or dinner)
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Trumpetmaster » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:28 am

that's pretty amazing.....
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby analog » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:03 pm

Of mom & pop stores -
I wish I had a hardware store near by. We have an Ace now,


sigh -
we are lucky to have an old fashioned family run hardware store nearby, run by three generations of Johnsons. Surprisingly it's just across from a Walmart supercenter and is doing well. You get good advice and they seem to have everything, plus they know where it is. Walmart just can't compete with that.

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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby barfle » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:10 am

piqaboo wrote:Of mom & pop stores -
I wish I had a hardware store near by. We have an Ace now, and that's an improvement.

During my second freshman year of college, I worked at a mom and pop hardware store. They were affiliated with what was known at the time as Great Western Hardware, which became True Value. I was uninterested in the business arrangement, but it seems to me that it was either a franchise or a co-op. The biggest sign in the store said "Denton Hardware," not "True Value." I know that he bought from other suppliers, too.

He opened the store in an area where new homes were being built, and he checked to see the various brands of screens for the ubiquitous sliding glass doors of Southern California, and bought up a bunch of repair parts for them, apparently directly from the manufacturers. He did well.

Here in Vahjinyah, we have a pretty good sized hardware store that is an Ace, but again, the biggest sign says "Fischer's Hardware." It certainly has the feel of Denton's, even if it is four times the size. Lots of fun just to snoop around there.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Shapley » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:45 am

barfle wrote:Here in Vahjinyah, we have a pretty good sized hardware store that is an Ace, but again, the biggest sign says "Fischer's Hardware." It certainly has the feel of Denton's, even if it is four times the size. Lots of fun just to snoop around there.


Ace, True Value, etc., are locally owned and are affiliated with the chain, to take advantage of the name recognition and to sell the brand-name products advertised and sold by the chain. IGA (International Grocers' Alliance) Does (or did) the same with gocery stores. The individual owners enjoy a lot of leeway in store design and product sales.

Lowes, Home Depot, etc., are owned by the chain, and they control all aspects of stocking, sales, etc, (they may not own the building, but they own the lease and the merchandise inside). The owners have very little leeway, if any, for independent merchandise decisions. This is why you see the same material inside and outside the building from one end of the country to the other, right down to the outbuildings they sell on the lot. This gives them a huge advantage in buying power (you can get a much better price on 10,000 similar items from your supplier than you can on 10), but leaves them short-changed if local demand varies significantly from national marketing trends.

V/R
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby BigJon@Work » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:14 am

piqaboo wrote:Of mom & pop stores -
I wish I had a hardware store near by. We have an Ace now, and that's an improvement.
Home Depot is good for what its good for but as an overall source of hardware, its dreadful.
Unfortunately, the new Ace isnt much better, but its enough better.
I want to be able to buy 1, 2, 4 nails, ; show them a broken thing and get the new piece, etc. And for hardware, I will pay the extra because it stresses me out.

Have you seen Ace's online store? Ace’s online enterprise stocks an amazing array of appurtenances. This place is not a corporate ACE site, but they have many hardware bargains.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby piqaboo » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:50 pm

I havent. We might find a use for it.
I need a place where I can walk in, wave the broken widgmagummy, get help, advice and bits 'n pieces. Plus 4 of the size nail required.
On-line doesnt quite work for that.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:48 pm

I have walked into a Home Depot holding a broken doodad seeking a replacement doodad. They didn't have it. Turns out they did have every hardware catalog in the world, over at customer service, and were willing to order me a package of my broken doodad. Took about a week, I still have two left.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Shapley » Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:09 pm

Lowes, Home Depot, etc., don't even carry parts for the equipment they sell... :curse:

You can buy a chain saw one day, and try to buy a part for it a month later, only to find they don't carry that brand any more. They parts they sell are usually third party "one size fits all" parts, that fit every brand but the one you own.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby barfle » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:37 pm

One of my tasks this weekend was to clean up the last of last fall's leaves so bar could fertilze the yard. That mostly meant planting beds and places where there's ground cover instead of lawn.

So I took my Toro leaf blower/vacuum off the wall and fired it up, and within five minutes, I'd broken a blade off the impeller. Yet another plastic part. :curse: So I went on line to see if I could order another one (not bothering with Home Deep Owe, since they're really not into service parts), and I found that I could. In that website, they wanted to have a local retailer connected to the sale, so I discovered a local retailer that carried the part. I went there and got it within the hour, and went back to work. I'm glad I bought two impellers, because I busted another one within a couple of hours.

The new rule is "watch for sticks in the leaf piles you're trying to vacuum up."

Another new rule is "buy two more impellers." :crazy:
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby piqaboo » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:45 am

Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote:I have walked into a Home Depot holding a broken doodad seeking a replacement doodad. They didn't have it. Turns out they did have every hardware catalog in the world, over at customer service, and were willing to order me a package of my broken doodad. Took about a week, I still have two left.

Wow. That is 180 degrees from my experience with a doodad (U-shaped nails for fencing).
They didnt have, they wouldnt order, if they ordered they told us they wouldnt get.

I guess next time I have a broken whatsit, I'll try again and see if my bad experience was a one-off.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Shapley » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:13 am

Fence-related items can be found at Tractor Supply Company, if Home Depot is not helpful.

I'm not sure how close TSC is to your area, I think they are concentrated along the highway from Bakersfield northward through the farm belt.
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Re: Let's hear it for Wal-Mart!

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:03 pm

It was the Santee Home Depot. I spent a while schmoozing the kids at Customer Service, until an older lady showed up and produced the stack of catalogs. I'm cheerful, I'm friendly, I'm relentless...
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