A few days ago, my oldest son asked if I would like to join him on a venture to Lowe’s. I took him up on the offer, seeing that my wife was out of town and my only company was my dog.
As is typically the case with home improvement stores and me, there’s always something that I need to buy even if it’s something I don’t really need. This time, I needed dimmers for a few of the lights in my living room.
I followed my son around the store for a handful of minutes as he loaded his cart full with lawn care goods, bird feeders and other odds and ends (he is taking after me) before leaving him to find what I wanted to buy.
Here’s the rub: finding the light dimmer I wanted was like hunting for the Yeti. No thank you.
Location is paramount with home improvement stores.
I mentioned earlier that my son and I are a lot alike. So much so that we both have defined our home improvement shopping by the chain closest to where we live. For him, it’s Lowes. For me, it’s Home Depot.
Sadly, without either having a defining brand, the location of a home improvement stores has become the most important factor in deciding the winner in Home Depot vs Lowes.
The battle between Lowe’s and Home Depot was a subject of a recent article in Forbes, which stated that shoppers prefer the layout and design of Lowe’s over Home Depot.
I speculate that the real reason these shoppers prefer Lowe’s over Home Depot is because it’s the store closest to where they live. Consequently, they have backfilled that choice with things like design to affirm that they made the choice for a better reason than location.
What does this mean for the home improvement brand?
As I have previously written, the act of feeling like a “winner” is what drives us within the home improvement category (and most things in life). In the instance with my son, I “lost” at Lowe’s as I could not find the items I wanted readily nor did they seem better in quality. As such, there was no impetus for me to change my shopping pattern.
However, had my shopping experience been a breeze at Lowe’s, maybe this blog would have been written differently. As is, I’ll continue to be a Home Depot shopper.