We shopped at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware to see which was the best home-improvement store — here’s the verdict (HD, LOW)

home depot nyc 8267Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

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  • Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware, three of the biggest home-improvement stores in the United States, offer a similar product selection and help with home-improvement projects.
  • Though the stores sell many of the same products, Home Depot‘s setup appears to be geared more toward professionals — like contractors and interior designers — than Lowe’s and Ace Hardware’s.
  • Home Depot reported on Tuesday that same-store sales were up 8% in its most recent fiscal quarter, Lowe’s reported in May that first-quarter comparable sales were up 0.6%, and Ace Hardware reported in May that first-quarter sales were up 2.2%.
  • We visited locations of both retailers and found that Home Depot had significantly more to offer and was nicer to shop at than its competitors. 

Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware compete to be the go-to store for all things home improvement.

They stock everything you might need to fix up your home, including kitchen and bath fixtures, screws and bolts, paint, and tools. All three stores offer in-store pickup and do-it-yourself tips.

Home Depot has 2,284 stores in North America, Lowe’s has about 2,370, and Ace Hardware has 4,418 stores, most of which are independently owned and operated. However, Home Depot and Lowe’s stores are typically much larger than Ace Hardware stores.

When visiting outposts of all three retailers, we noticed that Home Depot felt like a massive warehouse, whereas Ace Hardware felt more like a local hardware store without the flashy showrooms and massive promotions that Home Depot had. Lowe’s fell somewhere in the middle of the two stores — it was comparable in size to Home Depot but didn’t feel as much like a warehouse.

All three home-improvement stores have performed well as of late. Home Depot reported on Tuesday that same-store sales were up 8% in its most recent fiscal quarter, Lowe’s reported in May that first-quarter comparable sales were up 0.6%, and Ace Hardware reported in May that first-quarter sales were up 2.2%.

The target market is another notable difference between the stores. Home Depot tends to appeal more to professionals — like contractors, interior designers, and plumbers — while Lowe’s and Ace Hardware welcome a more do-it-yourself crowd.

In addition, Home Depot appears 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 shopping.

Here’s what we found when we visited Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware stores in New York City:

I visited the Home Depot in the Flatiron District.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

It felt like I was stepping into a warehouse, with high ceilings and industrial lighting. On the left were small products like dish soap and cleaning supplies. To the right was the start of the flooring department.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Home Depot had an astounding selection of everything. There was a huge variety of styles and patterns available for each type of product.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Post Author: martin

Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BriefNews.eu and PCHealthBoost.info Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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