Shopping Discussion

Lowes vs Home Depot / CDN Tire / Rona

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  • May 5th, 2015 5:33 pm
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[OP]
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Aug 19, 2003
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Kingston

Lowes vs Home Depot / CDN Tire / Rona

We're getting a Lowes in town. It will probably be opened sometime next year. They are actually going to open up pretty much right beside Canadian Tire. I'm thinking more competition is a good thing for customers. They are going to have to fight for our money now. No more fooling around because they only have one chance. If service is bad, on to the next one.

I have been to a Lowes before, but that was many years ago when I live in the US. All I remember is that it was huge, nice and clean/organized and they had a big variety of stuff. A little bit of everything. Except groceries of course. I dunno about you, I dont want to buy motor oil and eggs in the same store like at cdn tire.

Which one do you think is better? Do you think Lowes will beat out all of the competition? Are the prices/service better at Lowes?
19 replies
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Sep 24, 2007
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From what I've seen at Canadian Lowe's, I think Home Depot's going to be more competition than Canadian Tire. For instance, Lowe's sells wholesale lumber, tiles, masonry, patio sets, small and large tools and appliances...

Well, on the whole, I think CT's got some competition.
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Jan 5, 2003
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I spend too much of my waking hours in hardware stores...

Lowes carries more small brand-name household appliances (toaster ovens, blenders, vacuums, etc.) than HD, which only have them occasionally as part of a special purchase. They also seem to have a larger appliance selection than HD. Cdntire has more small appliances, but they're usually lower-end (Black and Decker) vs. Lowes' Cusinart and Kitchenaid.

Lowes also seem to have a slightly different selection of suppliers/vendors than HD or Rona, who both pretty much have the same suppliers/vendors. Lowes' fastener bins also has some neat fasteners that aren't available at HD or Rona. My car's license plate screws goes into this wierd thing that I've only seen at Lowes, so cheaper than going to the car dealership.

In my experience, Lowes also has the cheapest price of the big three hardware stores, in general. I was shopping for a lot of heavy-duty shelf brackets for my garage last winter. For basically the same bracket (rounded up):

Rona: $15
HD: $12
Lowes: $11

I needed 20 of them so the diff. between Lowes and Rona was $80! Even saving $1 each vs. HD was worth the extra 10 minutes of driving to Lowes to save $20. This is RFD. Lots of people do a lot more to save a lot less.

Needless to say, I generally start my hardware purchases at Lowes now, unless I'm in a hurry and HD is closer. Just so I don't come off as Lowes-crazy, I needed a cheap, basic door handle last week and Rona was the cheapest surprisingly with their "Forge" brand by about 20% less than the other stores. Also, Lowes doesn't cut pressure-treated lumber. I understand the health issues, but HD has no problem with it (maybe they don't care about their employees' health...).

Customer service-wise, Lowes is still new, even in Toronto, so employees are eager to please. During my walk through for the door handle last week, I had two different Lowes employees basically throw themselves at me to ask if they could help as I was walking around. And a few times I've seen Lowes employees spend a lot of time patiently explaining basic stuff to a hardware-challenged customer. Give them some time, however, and I'm sure their will and spirit will be broken, as are all retail employees...
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Oct 16, 2007
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jm1 wrote:
Dec 14th, 2009 4:32 pm
I spend too much of my waking hours in hardware stores...

Lowes carries more small brand-name household appliances (toaster ovens, blenders, vacuums, etc.) than HD, which only have them occasionally as part of a special purchase. They also seem to have a larger appliance selection than HD. Cdntire has more small appliances, but they're usually lower-end (Black and Decker) vs. Lowes' Cusinart and Kitchenaid.

Lowes also seem to have a slightly different selection of suppliers/vendors than HD or Rona, who both pretty much have the same suppliers/vendors. Lowes' fastener bins also has some neat fasteners that aren't available at HD or Rona. My car's license plate screws goes into this wierd thing that I've only seen at Lowes, so cheaper than going to the car dealership.

In my experience, Lowes also has the cheapest price of the big three hardware stores, in general. I was shopping for a lot of heavy-duty shelf brackets for my garage last winter. For basically the same bracket (rounded up):

Rona: $15
HD: $12
Lowes: $11

I needed 20 of them so the diff. between Lowes and Rona was $80! Even saving $1 each vs. HD was worth the extra 10 minutes of driving to Lowes to save $20. This is RFD. Lots of people do a lot more to save a lot less.

Needless to say, I generally start my hardware purchases at Lowes now, unless I'm in a hurry and HD is closer. Just so I don't come off as Lowes-crazy, I needed a cheap, basic door handle last week and Rona was the cheapest surprisingly with their "Forge" brand by about 20% less than the other stores. Also, Lowes doesn't cut pressure-treated lumber. I understand the health issues, but HD has no problem with it (maybe they don't care about their employees' health...).

Customer service-wise, Lowes is still new, even in Toronto, so employees are eager to please. During my walk through for the door handle last week, I had two different Lowes employees basically throw themselves at me to ask if they could help as I was walking around. And a few times I've seen Lowes employees spend a lot of time patiently explaining basic stuff to a hardware-challenged customer. Give them some time, however, and I'm sure their will and spirit will be broken, as are all retail employees...
Quite an insightful post--thanks! A Lowe's has been open near my house for a few months but I've never bothered to check it out... perhaps I may now.
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Feb 2, 2006
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They are all the same....

Lowes is going to open up and have a shitload of staff, everyone is going to go "WOW! we they have so much staff here!" then they are going to scale back and end up like home depot, which has 6 staff members in the whole goddamn store, and 2 of them are cashiers and the other 2 work customer service(and only one of them does returns). The other two try to hide as much as possible.

I hate home depot with a passion. I'm glad lowes is coming to town.
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Mar 21, 2002
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Yup. I remember when HD was new and had a lot of staff - often former tradesmen who knew their stuff. Big difference now.
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Mar 25, 2009
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I Love Lowes... Tons Of people of to help - has everything you need.
Prices the same as Home Depot for the most part.

Canadian Tire is a different type of store.
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Nov 10, 2003
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Hampton
Lowes will also cut glass to order, which I have never seen in HD. Our local HD still does some of the older guys who are ex trades so I still go there but there are less of them than there used to be.
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Jul 31, 2007
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I find Rona is the most expensive by a lot on most items. I just don't how they can stay in business.
[OP]
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Aug 19, 2003
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Sometimes being more expensive is a good thing. PM! Plus you get 10% off, not 10% of the difference.

Does Lowes Price Match too?
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Jan 16, 2008
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Tha DraGun wrote:
Dec 15th, 2009 11:00 am
Sometimes being more expensive is a good thing. PM! Plus you get 10% off, not 10% of the difference.

Does Lowes Price Match too?
Lowes Price beats the with 10% off...not 10% off the differnce
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Oct 1, 2008
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tsatsa wrote:
Dec 14th, 2009 7:24 pm
I find Rona is the most expensive by a lot on most items. I just don't how they can stay in business.
Really? Perhaps prices vary by region, or maybe I've just been lucky. I shop at the Rona in Ottawa on Hunt Club. I've had some pretty good deals there, including a few open box DeWalt tools. I bought a DW703 miter saw which included a bonus bundle of a free 25-foot extension cord and a corded 3/8" VSR drill, and I got an additional 10% off for taking the display model.

They're also the only place I've found that sells a particular red "all in one" screwdriver which is the most useful of its kind I've ever seen, and it's only about $7 too.
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Dec 19, 2011
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SCARBOROUGH
Rona and Canadian Tire have franchises so price and shop experience can vary by store. Even with Home Depot different locations in the GTA have varying prices for the same product. Lowes is much more spread out.
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Aug 2, 2001
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spinningpiledriver wrote:
May 3rd, 2015 9:47 pm
Is Lowes > Home Depot > Rona > Canadian Tire still?
I find that Lowes has much more in terms of store-wide sales (10% off, "save the tax") and department wide sales ("all recessed lighting 20% off", "all ceiling fans 20% off"). Some of their everyday prices are higher, however I find they are difficult to beat when having those store-wide sales because there are many items that rarely go on sale (building materials, etc).

CT is completely different than those three and I would not even put them into the same category. They are catering to a completely different market in my mind.

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