While he didn't mention us specifically Gordon Dillow seems to have inadvertently maligned Home Depot in his story "Nuts & Bolts & Savvy" (Feb. 10) by lumping us in with a lot of our competitors.
In his story, Dillow suggests that the employees in "those giant home improvement stores" don't seem to provide the kind of service that traditional hardware stores offer. We can't speak for the competition, but we can tell you that, without exception, retail home improvement industry analysts have credited Home Depot with revolutionizing the home center industry by combining the economies of scale offered by a warehouse format with the service personality of the traditional corner hardware store.
In terms of hard-to-find supplies, a typical Home Depot stocks at least 30,000 different kinds of building materials and home improvement and lawn and garden supplies. In fact, we sell nearly 50,000 items if you count special orders, which we offer as another customer service.
Those of us who have worked for Home Depot a long time can relate dozens of stories that our customers tell us concerning what they consider to be a superior level of customer service. One of our favorites concerns the opening of our first store in Connecticut a couple of years ago. Seems like the local townspeople were so puzzled over the cheerful faces and friendly, knowledgeable service, the local Chamber of Commerce sent over a representative to see if the store was owned by some religious cult group!
Vice President, Merchandising
West Coast Division