AL asked in Home & GardenOther - Home & Garden · 1 decade ago

people keep saying "you can buy this at your local hardware store"?

but I have no idea what stores are hardware stores. what would be an example? Lowes and Home depot?

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  • Casey
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Walmart is not a hardware store, it's a discount retailer, though they do sell some hardware items. Same for Target and Kmart.

    Home Depot and Lowe's are not strictly hardware stores, either. They're home centers or home improvement warehouses, because they sell lumber, floor covering, appliances, and millwork that most hardware stores aren't big enough to carry, though, obviously they do stock a lot more hardware than does a discount retailer.

    Usually, a hardware store refers to an Ace, True Value, or an independent mom and pop store if you can find one. They are much smaller than a big box retailer (so called because the average location is often larger than 100,000 square feet) and are frequently located in strip malls and in urban settings. A good one specializes in hardware (fasteners like nuts, bolts, screws and nails, paint, electrical items, plumbing, and garden. They will often have more specialty fasteners than a Home Depot will because Home Depot didn't get to be the second largest retailer in the world, and the largest home improvement store by wasting shelf space on things that don't have high volume sales. A hardware store can compete with the buying power of the giants and their low prices by having excellent customer service, much smaller locations that are a lot easier to get in and out of quickly, and stocking the unusual but vital stuff that the big boys don't.

    So how does that answer your question? Yes, Lowe's and Home Depot would be considered a hardware store, depending on what you were looking for because they are big enough to carry most things that a smaller store will. But since the founders of Home Depot retired a few years ago, the company's fanatic dedication to customer service has slipped considerably and they don't make it a point to hire people with experience in the building trades any more. Lowe's may be slightly better, but that's a matter of some debate. I know they're trying very hard to compete with Home Depot and one of they ways that's possible is by having good customer service.

    Sorry, you didn't ask for a history of the discount retailing in America, but what's considered a "hardware store" is kind of a disappearing part of the landscape. If you have a specific item you're looking for, you can click on my dopey picture and send me an email and I'll see if I can direct you to the best, cheapest place to find it.

    Source(s): Cabinetmaker and carpenter for over 20 years. I worked at Home Depot for six years and have read a couple of books about the company and seen several documentaries about how they got to be so successful so quickly. The store I worked in averaged over a million dollars in sales per week and they continually change the type of merchandise in a store. It's also different in different parts of the country and there are regional chains that may be considered hardware stores, depending on where you are.
  • 1 decade ago

    While Wal-Mart will have a variety of hardware items, I think you will find a greater selection at a Home Depot, Lowes, True Value Hardware Store's, and various "Mom and Pop's" hardware stores that you can easily find in the Yellow Pages of your telephone book under "Hardware" .

  • 1 decade ago

    Lowes or home depot are hardware stores not sure about walmart to much thats pretty much local gorciery store

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wall Mart

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