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Where Is The Closest Home Improvement Store
We shopped at Home Depot and Lowe’s to see which store was better — and the winner was clear for one main reason.
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We visited a Home Depot store in New York City’s Flatiron District and compared it to a nearby Lowe’s. Business Insider/Jessica Tyler
They stock all things home improvement, including kitchen and bath fixtures, lighting, paint, gardening supplies, and tools. Both stores offer same-day delivery, installation services, do-it-yourself workshops, and store credit cards. They also have similar return policies and will accept most items with or without a receipt for cash or store credit.
Lowe’s has been in business almost 30 years longer than Home Depot. Home Depot has 2,284 stores in North America, while Lowe’s has about 2,370 stores.
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Lowe’s stores typically have a few more square feet of space than Home Depot stores. But when Business Insider visited the New York outposts of both stores, we found that Home Depot was significantly larger than Lowe’s — by an entire floor.
The target market is an important difference between the two stores. Home Depot appeals more to professionals — such as contractors, interior designers, and plumbers — while Lowe’s caters to a more do-it-yourself crowd. Seth Basham, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, told Business Insider’s Iain Kane that professional contracts make up 20% to 25% of sales at Lowe’s and 45% at Home Depot.
Additionally, Home Depot seems to be the store of choice for millennials. In a Bank of America survey of 1,000 millennials reported by US News, 64% said Home Depot was their top choice for home-improvement purchases, while 53% preferred. Lowe’s
While visiting the stores, we noticed that Home Depot felt like a giant warehouse, while Lowe’s was more like a traditional retailer, with floor displays and bright, clear labels.
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Here are some of the biggest differences we’ve seen at a Home Depot and a Lowe’s in New York City.
The store has a warehouse-like feel, with high ceilings, industrial lighting, and lots of open space. On the left were small household items such as dish soap and cleaning supplies. On the right was the beginning of the flooring department.
Home Depot’s selection was astounding. It had all kinds of flooring in many styles and patterns, and had a few employees in each department to help.
The store had a horticulture department on the basement level, which sold plants, seeds, flowers, tools, soil and fertilizers.
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Many items in the store did not have labels. There was a directory, and many experts were around to help, but the store was clearly aimed more at professionals in the home improvement industry. If you don’t know the exact nail or bolt you’re looking for, it can be challenging to find it yourself.
There were many services for non-professionals, he said, such as workshops where customers could learn how to do things like stain a patio.
Price check scanners were available throughout the store. For most items, prices at Home Depot and Lowe’s were comparable.
Home Depot has a price-match initiative. Signs around the store explained that if shoppers found a product for less elsewhere, Home Depot would beat that price by 10%.
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The store offers same-day delivery anywhere in Manhattan, starting at $21. Other Home Depot locations do the same, with prices varying based on order size.
The customer-service area was near the checkout and self-checkout aisles, which seemed to move very quickly. Home Depot’s return policy is generous, allowing full refunds for most items if you bring a receipt and store credit. Home Depot also offers online returns and in-store pickup for online orders.
The store felt geared toward professionals, but seemed to have everything you need for a home-improvement project, and all the employees were very helpful. Design consultations, price matching, and a lenient return policy add to the appeal.
The garden department was the first thing I saw, and it was quite a bit smaller than Home Depot.
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Something I noticed right away was that Lowe’s seemed more open to people who aren’t necessarily professionals. There was a lot of support for DIY projects, and everything was very clearly labeled.
… and flooring. The store felt less industrial than Home Depot, and its products were definitely better labeled.
… and it matches the same day delivery price. The two stores had identical return policies, and Lowe’s even offered a 10% price-match guarantee.
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Looking for a hardware store? NYC has plenty of mom-and-pop shops that have all the tools you need to spruce up your apartment.
Certainly, Lowe’s and Home Depot are known as one-stop home-improvement meccas. But like any big store, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the items and get frustrated by the lack of personal attention. Fortunately, NYC has many neighborhood hardware stores that are stocked with garden store supplies, home decor items and just about anything you need for projects of all sizes in your NYC apartments. (Oh, and some of them are hiding alcohol.) Here are the best hardware stores in NYC to shop for the tools that will make you a DIY pro.
The Warsha family has been helping city dwellers with their home improvement needs for three generations. And with good reason: not only are they professionals at helping you find exactly what you need, they’ll recommend high-quality brands based on personal experience. They’re also a great resource for one-time projects: You can rent drills for less than what you’d pay full price for, saving you money and valuable storage space. They also offer AC repair and locksmith services—huge lifesavers on hot summer days and those drunken nights when your keys mysteriously disappear.
This West Village mainstay has been caring for the neighborhood since 1884, recommending painting, plumbing and gardening supplies for experienced and aspiring homeowners and renters alike. Search its large inventory of items online or ask in person to find out which hand and power tools work best for your job, or articles on common projects like toilet repair, picture hanging, and replacing a standard light switch. Visit the website to read. With a dimmer for much needed mood lighting.
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H Brickman & Sons’ newest location stocks quality brands like Rubbermaid and Stanley for contractors, home reno enthusiasts and decorators. And the workers here and at the other two locations know their stuff — it makes sense, since they’ve been in the business for five generations. Contractors will love the convenience of being able to easily pick up last-minute items, and painters looking to spruce up their homes will appreciate the delivery service. Don’t forget to get a coupon online, which will give you 20 percent off your first purchase.
Midtown residents looking to avoid Home Depot will love Brothers Hardware, which offers home essentials like paintbrushes, pliers and window fans at great prices. The most convenient part: If they don’t have what you’re looking for in stock, helpful employees will call you and have it in store by the next day. They also stock useful items such as vacuum cleaners and small kitchen appliances, offer free local delivery and have an all-important locksmith service.
This family-owned shop has been serving Carroll Gardens for more than 60 years: locals flock to it for plants and other garden and grill supplies, and the friendly staff will answer all your tool and home repair questions. , making it a lifesaver for new homeowners or DIY beginners. A computerized paint-matching system will help you choose the perfect shade for touch-ups or match the perfect color to coordinate with your new curtains. It also offers screen repairs for windows and doors and expert gardening advice for those looking to improve their green thumb.
Park Slope residents, rejoice: This hardware store is a lifesaver if you need last-minute or hard-to-find items like replacing the screws you accidentally hit under the fridge. It also stocks heavy-duty work clothing such as gloves and boots, which is great if you know you have multiple projects to tackle at once, as well as plumbing tools and cleaning supplies such as mops, outdoor Brooms and trash cans.
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This family-run shop has been in business since the 1920s, serving NYC’s commercial, concierge
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