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View Full Version : DIY stores - they don't stock what you expect them to.


rans6andrew
12th Aug 2016, 15:43
Last week it was my partner's birthday. When asked if there was anything she would like by way of a present she said a "ladder I can use". By this she meant a step ladder she could climb for pruning in the garden after she found that an extending "lean against" ladder only works when doing mans pruning (big trees!). So, I toddled off to the usual DIY stores only to find that most of them only do order on-line for delivery. The one chain that does keep a few in stock only had stock availability at a few of their stores, the nearest being around the other side of London. Ah, I thought, getting a ladder delivered to her on her birthday would be a bit of a surprise so I went on line and ordered one, on Tuesday afternoon, for next day delivery. We stayed in all day on Wednesday, nothing came. Their customer service was there until 8pm so I rang them for an explanation. Got stuck in their telephone queuing system for 19 mins before talking to a human who took a further 12 mins to find out that their delivery fulfilment department goes home at 4.30pm. As they had failed to do the "next day" bit of their promise I asked the lady to cancel my order. A birthday surprise that doesn't arrive on the right day is no use. She said she couldn't cancel until the delivery department are there, she would do it in the morning. If it had already been loaded onto the van it might still turn up and I was to turn it away at the door. It came on Friday. The van driver spoke next to no English and it took some while to convince him that the order was cancelled, the ladder would need to go back. He took it away.

Meanwhile, I had placed an order for the same spec ladder on 5 working day delivery from another DIY chain. It was £24 cheaper. Today, the same man, in the same van, brought the same ladder with the same branding but different paperwork, to my door. He eyed me suspiciously before unloading it.

Fareastdriver
12th Aug 2016, 16:10
I was doing wet shower room. SWMBO and I went to a national DIY shop to see what the score was with build in showers. We selected one that they had on their display and I asked them to pack me up one on the assumption that they had them in boxes round the back.

Wrong! They had none in stock and it would have to be ordered. I was then told it would take up to six weeks to arrive.

I left them to their own devices and when I got home I ploughed the internet for the same model that they had marked up for £169.

Two days later it was delivered; for £89 including delivery.

andytug
12th Aug 2016, 17:02
Same happens with national "white goods" chains, anything bigger than an ink jet printer will not be in stock and will take a week or longer to be delivered.
Not much use when your oven goes boink on 23rd December and you're expecting 14 for Xmas dinner........

Thing was I wasn't the only person in the store in that situation! Eventually got them to sell me the display one. 30 odd ovens on display, any in stock? Nope. Same happened a year or so later with a washing machine. Anyone with kids can't afford to wait two weeks for a new washer! (Based on that experience I recommend the co-op on line store, cheapest and fastest I've found)

vulcanised
12th Aug 2016, 17:32
I miss the several Ironmongers that we used to have around here.

Best I have found over recent years is Clas Ohlson. They do actually seem to care.
.

obgraham
12th Aug 2016, 20:09
I agree -- I'll never understand that huge stores like HD and Lowe's here in US have so much stuff, but they never seem to have what I need.

Sallyann1234
12th Aug 2016, 22:47
Meanwhile, I had placed an order for the same spec ladder on 5 working day delivery from another DIY chain. Did you try Screwfix? If they haven't got your ladder in stock they can get it store or deliver it to you the next day.
You can order it on line, check if it's in stock, and they'll have it waiting for you 10 minutes later.

Loose rivets
12th Aug 2016, 23:00
I liked Low's. Went down there at 06 sparrow's one morning at got a huge Shop Vac and a Bosch reciprocating saw that I'd always wanted in the UK, but could never justify. It was quite a sale to get me out of bed that early.

Just thinking today how much stuff I left in Texas. Probably never see it again.:uhoh:

I got a pair of sliding shower doors for tuppence and cast the shower in situ. Plumbing in the states is practically free and instant using CPVC and I've long gone away from big name valves etc., after buying Trevi for my Essex home. What a load of total tat. The ceramic valves could not tolerate softened water, seemingly needing some calcium to 'lube' the surfaces.

Home Depot is very much like B & Q, same colour, sorry, color scheme etc. I found them very useful but I suppose even three years ago the power of the internet was still rising.

My son in Texas got Tee'd off with my camera's zoom lens making a noise while we chatted so he, unannounced, sent me a new one. He mentioned it the next day saying it should be with me soon. I said, it arrived yesterday, just a few hours after he ordered it thousands of miles away. What's more, it came by post. :confused: I guess the Big River has a special deal with RM.

Rwy in Sight
13th Aug 2016, 07:00
airpolice,

I have read somewhere (if important reference can be found) that stores use the method you described to maintain a control over "irregular" ops.

fa2fi
13th Aug 2016, 07:10
Where I am two large stores have closed, one being replaced with a discount general retailer. It's busier than ever before. Previously the only aspect of the stores doing good business was the miserable wench in her burger van in the car park.

As mentioned the stored a piled high with millions of products - except the one I want. I went in to a Wickes down south. It seemed to be run by unfriendly and disinterested staff hanging around in big groups making it clear that they would rather I didn't interrupt their conversations.

I do think the large DIY outlets will consolidate. I can't imagine it's an efficient store format.

Metro man
13th Aug 2016, 07:53
Holding stock ties up money and takes up space which is why car manufacturers go for "just in time" delivery of parts going out to the assembly lines. Logistics costs money and retailers often give the job over to another company rather than do it themselves. The shop is really nothing more than a showroom and orders are simply passed onto the logistic company which handles the goods from port of arrival to buyers front door.

Instead of five shops each holding five models of a particular washing machine, a shop can simply carry one display model and when an order is placed delivery is arranged from a central location.

With modern computers and communications, together with overnight trucking, there shouldn't be very much difference to the buyer compared to wheeling it out of the stockroom and into the delivery van. Also saves each shop having its own lorry and driver.

VP959
13th Aug 2016, 08:00
Did you try Screwfix? If they haven't got your ladder in stock they can get it store or deliver it to you the next day.
You can order it on line, check if it's in stock, and they'll have it waiting for you 10 minutes later.
Worth noting that Screwfix and B&Q are the same firm, in effect. There are pricing differences between the two that just reflect what the customers of each will pay, but the stock is the same - although the Chinese stuff may have a different name. For example, some of the Chinese power tools in B&Q carry their MacAllister name, the same tools in Screwfix may carry their Titan or Erbauer branding.

The ability to order online and collect the same day, or the next day at the latest, is very useful, and applies to both Screwfix and B&Q, and also the Travis Perkins retail outlet, Wickes, who operate the same "collect in store" system.

If you're over 60, then you get 10% off every Wednesday in B&Q; if you have any sort of recognised qualification (an electronic engineering degree counts, I found!) then you can get a Trade Account card at Screwfix (a small discount, quicker service at the trade counter and sometimes free coffee).

LTNman
13th Aug 2016, 08:20
So, I toddled off to the usual DIY stores only to find that most of them only do order on-line for delivery.


Meanwhile, I had placed an order for the same spec ladder on 5 working day delivery from another DIY chain.

I have all stopped using DIY chains long ago. If I wanted a step ladder then it is 5 minutes on the internet doing a google search. 70% of all my online orders are via Amazon or one of the companies that use Amazon as a shop window. I have never been let down so I keep going back.

Gertrude the Wombat
13th Aug 2016, 09:40
Instead of five shops each holding five models of a particular washing machine, a shop can simply carry one display model and when an order is placed delivery is arranged from a central location.
And in some places if you order a washing machine whilst you're physically in the shop, what the shop assistant does is log into the web site that you could have logged into from home and place the order as you could have done from home - no need to build a separate system to handle in-store ordering.

Pontius Navigator
13th Aug 2016, 19:27
I was doing wet shower room. SWMBO and I went to a national DIY shop to see what the score was with build in showers. We selected one that they had on their display and I asked them to pack me up one on the assumption that they had them in boxes round the back.

Wrong! They had none in stock and it would have to be ordered. I was then told it would take up to six weeks to arrive.
. . .
Two days later it was delivered; for £89 including delivery.
FED, ditto. The Polish sales girls (very pretty) were very willing to sell me £500 doors, never got round to discuss delivery. Went home, searched eBay, found doors, half the price of B&Q 10 years previous. Ordered at £82 including free delivery. Declined the £24 speedy offer. It arrived a day before quick delivery.

Quality was much better than the old one. Checked the parent company, same door, £79 + £24 delivery.

I think 90% of the time it is a waste of time, fuel and effort going to a big store.

Pontius Navigator
13th Aug 2016, 19:32
FED, had the same wait 3 months when we had made a special journey to buy a suite in a sale. We paid deposit.

After 4 months I sent them a bill for a month's interest; they paid. After 5 months;ditto. After 6 months, time of the essence. After 7 months , cancelled and sent Bill for the first 3 months deposit; they paid.

ZOOKER
13th Aug 2016, 20:27
'Garden centres' are a waste of space. Two years ago, the Zookermower finally gave up. Went down to the local 'Notcutts' for a new one........"Sorry we don't sell them, have you tried Block and Quayle?"
Notcutts......Quite an appropriate name then. No mowers, but large displays of greetings cards, scented-candles, sh*tty books, [email protected] DVDs.....Oh, and Tyrell's Crisps.

MarcK
13th Aug 2016, 20:51
My local store has a motto which I paraphrase as: "a place where you can almost always get something very much like what you were looking for."

G-CPTN
13th Aug 2016, 21:34
What is interesting is that several years ago, Garden Centres were the only 'shops' that were allowed to be open and trade on a Sunday (though I seem to remember carpet warehouses being open but could only take 'orders' - not money - or was it that they sold expensive sacks of potatoes with carpets given away free of charge?).

Sunday trading in England and Wales was not generally permitted until 1994. This meant that shops such as department stores and supermarkets were not able to open legally. A number of specialist outlets were able to open legally, including garden centres, small "corner" or family-run shops, and chemists.

The out-of-town shopping location that is now a supersized 24 hour T esco (or at least it was until very recently, now it closes for a couple of hours during the night) was originally established on the site of a market garden with the proprietors deciding that they could make more money by attracting weekend shoppers for a 'shopping experience' (before Sunday trading was allowed for all).

Although it started selling plants (bought in, not the produce of the original market garden) it soon expanded into fencing, wheelbarrows and lawnmowers (as well as anything vaguely connected with 'gardens' such as ladders and a host of other items such as trinkets and gifts for customers to buy for their friends).

Inevitably it outgrew itself to the extent that the overheads made it uneconomic to continue trading so they sold out to local town centre department store (by then Sunday trading was in full force) and there were regular traffic jams with customers travelling long distances 'for the experience'.

In time the golden goose died and the town centre department store (and its out of town offshoot) went into administration - and T esco bought the site and redeveloped it as a supermarket.

Pontius Navigator
13th Aug 2016, 22:05
Our small market town has a large plant supply and maintenance operation almost on the centre. New lawn mower? Discuss requirements, options, costs - get instruction - pop in boot and go home.

Petrol stuff don't work? Go see George, retired Ch Tech, couple of days later pick up cleaned and repaired - doesn't matter if they sold it or cheap German bit off eBay.

OTOH, Wickes - crucial bit always missing or cement out of date.

Stanwell
14th Aug 2016, 01:55
My local store has a motto which I paraphrase as: "a place where you can almost always get something very much like what you were looking for."


And then, if it works more than once, consider yourself ahead.
Seriously, though, folks there's a chain of 'hardware' stores here in Oz (no, bugger it - I'll name them, .. Bunnings) that have run all
of our good local businesses out of business.
Why?
Because their prices are just so good!
As a consequence, every 'Council Clean-up Day', the verges are cluttered with Chinese junk that only looked like what it was supposed to be.

LapSap
14th Aug 2016, 02:17
Same situation in Victoria, Australia in the 80's until a rather colourful character Frank Penhalluriack fought the Govt on trading hours.


In the state of Victoria (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_(Australia)) in the 1980s, the Local Government Act limited most retailers to trading during certain hours on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays. Certain types of retailers were exempt from these restrictions, such as milk bars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_bar) and service stations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filling_station). Penhalluriack consistently ignored these laws, opening his hardware store outside of the legislated times. Melbourne talkback radio host and social commentator Derryn Hinch (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derryn_Hinch) quipped at the time, "You can get a screw on Sunday but you canít get a screwdriver.", in reference to the fact that the Victorian government was legalising prostitution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution) at the same time they were enforcing the weekend trading laws with particular attention to hardware stores.