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Home Depot

Posted by runktrun z7a MA (My Page) on
Wed, May 2, 07 at 10:12

Let me be clear the purpose of this post IS NOT to bash Home Depot not only would that be just too easy but it certainly would be redundant, hopefully through thoughtful discussion we can promote change. The link below I gives hope to the collective voices of gardeners on message boards that this is possible. I thought it might be interesting to share what changes you would most like to see in Home Depots Garden Center and I will forward a link of our discussion to Frank Blake CEO.

I will start first with my Home Depot concern.

Dear Mr. Blake,
I find it troubling that as a result of your business pyramid that dictates not paying growers for plant material until the plant has been sold by Home Depot; there is an overall lack of concern for the maintenance and care of that plant. This makes a clear statement to your employees and customers We Dont Care About Plants which of course translates to We Dont Care About Our Customers. Now I realize some growers concerned by the lack of care their plants receive at Home Depot are now sending around their own employees to water, ect their plants. What is crystal clear to me is this will result in another increase in the overall cost of plant material to be absorbed by the consumer. kt

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Depot Apologizes


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Home Depot

My mother always says the only way to get good plants from Home Depot is to get them the same day they put them out. I've found this to be true after buying plants and keeping them in their pots, they will still look nice and healthy after a couple weeks or more. Then upon a trip to Home Depot I'll see the same plants that looked healthy when I purchased mine, dried up and dying. Do they really think someone is going to by that? Now I know why they let this happen, they don't have to pay for these plants! If I were a grower darn right I'd be there taking care of those poor plants! I would like to add that it would be nice if the people working in the garden center could answer questions about the plants. I don't even bother asking questions any more because the response I'll always get is, "I have no idea" and not only does that employee have no idea, but they seem to think I'm the one with the problem, for expecting they might!


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RE: Home Depot

How about saying nothing? If that's the way HD treats their growers, then the growers should take their business elsewhere. Vote with your dollar -- shop at the mom and pop stores. Oh, wait, those have been displaced by HD.

Wow!! A door greeter? And someone to ask me what I want and lead me to it? Can I be put on a leash or tether, too? Thank you, now please take me to your cash registers and swipe my credit card for me. Moooooo.

Hiring tradespeople to staff HD sounds like a fantastic idea, but I feel sorry for any plant expert that is going to spend their time teaching people about HD's plants. I can hear it already... What zone do I live in? What is part-shade? How much water is moist, well-draining? What does annual mean? These are valid questions, but an expert might lose a marble or two after a couple of weeks of this. Not to mention, how is any self-respecting plant expert going to try to sell a plant that they know is not hardy as specified or is being sold in a zone outside of what the label specifies? No sale, no buck for HD, and that is not what HD wants. Of course, it might be a different story if HD put a master gardener on the board of directors, to head up an HD Plant Division filled with plant experts charged with making sure that interesting plants were supplied to the appropriate zones at the proper time. Now that would really be something!


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RE: Home Depot

I think Katy is asking for suggestions to help Home Depot better serve the people who will shop there regardless of our principles and loyalty to local growers and sellers.

Katy's suggestion to the new CEO is to help those growers (who are local to someplace) get a fairer deal.

I'm very interested in people's comments and suggestions; more interested than knowing whose hackles are raised by the mere mention of "H....D...."

Please, can we keep this thread on topic?

Thanks for the opportunity to say my piece of peace.
Marie


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RE: Home Depot

  • Posted by triciae Zone 7 Coastal SE CT (My Page) on
    Fri, May 4, 07 at 6:48

I would really appreciate sufficient staffing that I could reasonably expect to have help if I shopped at 11:00 on a Tuesday morning. I'm handicapped. I can't manage half a dozen one gallon perennials by myself. I require assistance with loading, etc. It's impossible even mid-morning on a weekday to get that help even though I'm clearly handicapped. So, I never shop their garden center. My local garden centers take the time to get to know me & assist me. I don't even have to ask...they volunteer to aid with loading or even getting stuff up to the register. If you're handicapped, shopping Home Depot is a mightmare. Home Depot should also monitor their parking lot better. The store is one of the worst offenders for allowing non-handicapped people to park in handicapped places. My local Home Depot's clearly marked handicapped spots are almost always filled with pick-up trucks bearing no handicapped placard or plate. I've given up. Haven't even tried to shop there is 2-3 years.

Tricia


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RE: Home Depot

I have bought plants from HD in the past. It was probably right after they received them.

Working at my local garden center sure has been an education. I can't believe how well we take care of and all the time we put into our "babies", as we call our plants. We seed many of our own or buy tiny plugs of others. Between all the planting, transplanting, watering, temp controls on all the greenhouses, and much more, gee, I'm exhausted at the end of each day. It sure is rewarding. Everyone there loves these plants.

Okay, so now I know why I shop my local garden center. I'm watching my "babies" and waiting until it is consistently warmer and the "babies" grow a little more, then I will bring them home.


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RE: Home Depot

My sister the tropical lurker mentioned to me that my link was corrupted. So for those who have been unable to read the HD Apology I thought I would post it here. Please keep in mind that the following was written in response to out cries on a MSN chat forum that registered hundreds of negative responses about HD.

I'd like to thank Scott -- his column about our company was insightful and revealing. You can easily tell that it struck a nerve with me. Scott, we'll do all in our power to again make The Home Depot the store you and your wife, Carolyn, once referred to as "our store." I'd also like to give my thanks to the many people who posted comments on this board. We want them. We need them . . . to enable us to keep getting better. We're committed to being the company that helped set the standard for customer service excellence in home improvement. Please continue to hold us accountable.
Finally, message boards of this type do not allow us to respond directly to each poster, so please give us the chance to fix the many issues discussed on this board by writing to wehearyou@homedepot.com. You have my personal assurance that every effort will be made to address your concerns.
The Home Depot was built on great customer service, and we hope to rebuild your trust on that same tradition -- just give us the chance!

I'm Frank Blake, the new CEO for The Home Depot. I've read a number of the postings on the MSN message board (unfortunately, there were a lot of them), and we've dispatched a dedicated task force -- working directly with me -- that is ready and willing to address each and every issue raised on this board. Please give us the chance.
There's no way I can express how sorry I am for all of the stories you shared. I recognize that many of you were loyal and dedicated shoppers of The Home Depot . . . and we let you down. That's unacceptable. Customers are our company's lifeblood and the sole reason we have been able to build such a successful company is because of your support. The only way we're going to continue to be successful is by regaining your trust and confidence . . . and we will do that.
We've already taken steps to cure many of the ills discussed on this message board:
We will be and already are increasing our staffing in the stores.
We're also in the early stages of launching a nationwide program to recruit and hire skilled master tradespeople to staff our stores so that our customers receive the kind of service and expertise that made The Home Depot great.
We're investing significantly in the appearance of our stores to make them an easier and more fun place to shop.
And we're making it clear to all our associates that nothing is more important than you, the customer. Every associate knows that his or her number one job is to make you smile and to help you solve your home improvement problem no matter how big or how small.
But the real judge of all of these changes were making is you. All I ask is that you please give us the opportunity to win you back. When you enter our stores, you should receive a personal greeting. After that, you should encounter a helpful associate who will walk you to find the tools, material or service you need. If you dont, please let us know . . . just like Scott Burns did.


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RE: Home Depot

  • Posted by malorn 7 S.E. Mass (My Page) on
    Fri, May 4, 07 at 17:41

I rushed to my local HD a few weeks ago when their sunday ad showed great prices...I drove very far only to find that those plants were only at selected stores..not mine..should have read the fine print..

Despite the new CEO's statement, I think the responsibility will lie with the grower..Why sell your plants to any organization that is not going to care for them..

I started a thread earlier in the season about buying from big discount vs. local as wondered about the quality of plants, as a new gardener, with very few plants, discount prices are very appealing..and I always struggle with my conscience when I buy from them..I now try to purchase my plants from my local and other supplies like soil, fertilizer from the discount..


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RE: Home Depot

I think the the link below will say it all about home depot.
this is the link to WCVB's channel 5 Boston, ongoing investigation about Home Depot and their business practices and how they install various home improvement products in homes across the country.

Pretty revealing about homeowner's experience as well as Home Depot's response.

It's a read it and weep, disgusted consumers and a real eye opener. Thankful that one didn't use them to install a roof, windows, siding, floor etc.

Since hearing this report several weeks ago and the recent one this week, hubby and I have decided Home Depot will no longer be receiving our business for anything. Several of our friends feel the same way.

Fran

Here is a link that might be useful: WCVB ch. 5 home depot investigation


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RE: Home Depot

I absolutely love HD!

One Sunday afternoon, about 15 years ago, right after HD opened up about 20 miles from us, one of my sons, who was about 8 at the time, dropped his toothbrush down the drain in the bathroom sink. I was out at a garden center that afternoon with a friend, as I recall. My "handy" husband disconnected the sink, a beautiful, heavy, very old one, but when he went to set it down, he accidentally dropped it on the toilet, breaking the bowl of the john into smithereens. (He proceeded to flush the toilet, thinking that would somehow help. It didn't.)

I came home about an hour later to find the toilet in the driveway. When you have 2 young kids, this is not what you want to see in the driveway, especially on a Sunday.

So, why do I love HD? Because if, 15 years ago, they hadn't opened up 20 miles away, and if they didn't stock toilets, and if they didn't provide instructions on installing said toilets, I would no doubt be in jail today for the murder of my wonderful husband.

BTW, I replaced that toilet a few years later with a better one from the plumbing supply place in town. But, this kind of store serves a purpose, and while it's NOT the BEST place to buy many things, and it's probably the WORST place to buy most things, sometimes it is just PERFECT when you really need it.


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RE: Home Depot

  • Posted by claire z6b MA Coastal (My Page) on
    Fri, May 4, 07 at 20:53

Well said, DTD.

Claire


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RE: Home Depot

I was at the Portsmouth, NH store on Saturday looking for nursery pots (they don't carry them). I took a look around outdoor garden (can't resist) and couldn't believe the selection. Cornus ivory halo for $15. I paid $29 for a few last fall. Plants looked to be in good shape, etc.

That night DH and I stopped by the Somersworth, NH store (he needed a sawblade or something), so I dragged him into outdoor garden. NOTHING like the Portsmouth store. Dried up and dead shrubs and plants everywhere. Not a single employee out there watering.

DH used to work at a HD and told me they can throw out $15,000 of plants/trees/shrubs in a night. They don't care. Now I know why, they don't own the plants and aren't responsible for them.


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RE: Home Depot

To answer your HD questions and concerns.
First of all each HD has a manager that runs his/her store as they see fit. Therefore I can only speak for "our" store. Each associate is trained for their individual department. I work as a garden associate and we have 16 hours of horticulture certification and another 8 hours of nursery consultant certification. Yes, we do know the answers to your questions and more. Cashiers are just that and people that load stuff for you do not. Don't expect them to be knowledgeable about such things. Our Garden dept manager IS a master gardener. Our plants are NOT owned by HD and are brought in by vendors. Vendors WANT and LOVE a chance to put their plants on HD shelves to sell because they make more money by doing so in the hundreds of HD stores than they would selling themselves. Their merchandise is what we call pay by scan which means if it's not sold it is no loss to HD and if it is then the profit is shared. So of like consignment selling. This is just business folks, the way it is. Therefore HD cannot mark down plants that do not belong to them so don't ask for the half dead plants that are being thrown away. It's not our choice but the vendors choice to throw them out. Possible reasoning is it cost to much to them to ship them back, they could be weaker and have diseased. The HD as does the vendor does not want unhealthy plants on the shelves. It's not a good reflection on either. Our vendors DO MARK down some plants at their descretion. The vendors have people hired that come in and display their plants and put them out on the racks. They are called display merchandisers. HD for the summer has hired outside help to water plants. It is their only job. We tried having associates water and found that these plants in the South need watering twice a day and as big as our nursery is is a 8 hour job for one person which left our customers lacking on our attention. We do put our customers first. It is so important to us we have what is called the VOC. On your HD receipt you'll find a web link to go to that questions your service at our store. When our associates have made you happy and you tell us that, the associate receives an award. So, yes, we strive to put that smile on your face. While at times we may be understaffed please understand it's summer and over 100 degrees on days that we are trying to keep the nursery going, loading pave stones, pine straw and answer questions.
HD has a great return policy on plants. We've taken back plants that have obviously been neglected by the customer with no questions and replaced those plants. I've watched people buy plants for centerpieces at parties only to return them for a refund when their party was over. It's easy to place blame when you don't understand the inner workings of a business and all that goes on. Most of the time we don't even have a say so on what plants come to us from our vendors. The vendors themselves send what they think will sell. If you have questions or concerns I'd be glad to answer any way that I can.


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RE: Home Depot

The town of Dartmouth here on the south coast has a "pay as you throw" program whereby residents must purchase orange trash bags for curbside pick-up. The Home Depot and Lowes in Dartmouth, along with numerous small mom and pop stores are the vendors for the bags. The town is obviously supposed to get a cut of the proceeds to pay for trash pick-up. But I just found out yesterday that Home Depot and Lowes will not pay-up. They both owe Dartmouth $12,000. Meanwhile, the small local vendors are holding up their end of the deal. I will be canceling my Home Depot credit card today and will be spending my dollars at the locally owned stores in the future.


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RE: Home Depot

even though this a two year old post i'll weigh in. this season HD went VMI (vendor managed inventory) on all live goods with the exception of the first load of trees we get in spring. i've got mixed feelings over the shrubs and landscape going to this program our diversity of plants has gone down slightly (gone from multiple growers to one main) but our grower is in charge of the program for the most part, they decide when they send us plants and what we get, unless we make special requests. also they are atleast partly responsible for the care of plants because they pay for their own service group to help in the care of the plants. it can be a viscous circle of not enough service, too many plants have been sent in to table, and us not being able to cull plants. its a system thats flawed but promises to get better. we have done annual and perennial flowers like this for years and yes lots of plants get throw away but compared to how many we sell its about right (i'll get twenty+ racks of annuals and on monday a rack gets culled) works well for us, the grower and for the most part the customer.

obviously i'm just speaking of my very small HD universe and not the whole company. HD has always been good to its employees in my 10 years, do i want to get paid more? yes but am compensated fairly and have decent benefits. HD employs 1000's of people and in this tough financial environment there have been minimal lay offs (EXPO closing which was a disaster from the beginning), we all got raises (with a deserving review), 401k remained unchanged, and a change to a change to our bonus structure to make it easier to make a few extra bucks (not much, but better than nothing :) )


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RE: Home Depot

Now I understand why Home Depot never has their plants on sale (trees, yes - they are 50% now at my store). I don't know if the arrangement they have with their vendors is best for all stakeholders (HD, vendors, customers) but it doesn't sound like the customers are that happy. I'd be happy to buy a plant at a discount and nurse it back to health but I won't pay their full prices for inferior quality (there is also a Lowe's two miles down the road from HD). I went in last night to buy some vegetable seeds to plant in the summer for a fall harvest. No more seeds - "returned to vendor". Lowe's still sells seeds so I went the extra (2) miles. Also, after it was too late I was told by a co-worker that HD contracts with major applicance manufacturers to mass produce a particular series or style/type that is exclusive to Home Depot. In order to have "low" prices, the models they sell are inferior to the normal manufacturer's standards (even if it says "Maytag" for example, it may be manufactured by Maytag but per HD specifications). This also allows them to "beat any competitors price on the same make/model" since there are no competitors - they have the manufacturers make exclusive products. When I remodeled my kitchen a few years ago I bought a stove, microwave, refrigerator, garbage disposal and dish washer from HD. NEVER AGAIN! The only thing that didn't break was the stove. The dishwasher and disposal didn't even last a month before they needed repair - OK I'm off on a major tangent but it was also a nightmare when someone came to fix them but I'll save you that diatribe. Anyway, my suggestion to HD would revise or at least revisit their policy with regard to plant vendors. No one likes waste and why not sell at say 50% off if they are throwing them anyway (I for one wouldn't wait for a better plant to show up at HD and then pay them full price - I'd go somewhere else and pay the competitors' full price for better plants so HD would lose any sale to me anyway). This is especially true for vegetables.

Along with that suggestion, why NO seeds (zilch,nada, none) - it's still June. I think their garden section could use a general overhall. They were out of peat pots in April and were not restocking them. Again, off to Lowe's - a little out of the way but still only 2 miles.

I'm done venting - thanks for the opportunity!


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RE: Home Depot

I've not been in HD for over 5 years I went to see about a credit card and was told no because I don't have a driver license, I told them that I was handicap and couldn't drive they didn't seem to care, so guess what Lowe's gave me one even with out a license and I'll never go back to HD it just goes to show you HD thinks there sh-- don't stink well it does

Bear


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A system meant to fail

Isn't it obvious that HD paying their plant vendors only upon sale of the plant- is a faulty system to begin with? HD obviously has no incentive to maintain the plants because they have invested nothing. If HD paid the vendors upon delivery of the plants, HD would only stand to make a profit if they maintained and sold the plants in their best possible health.
As for you GW HD shoppers,Give it up,guys. Use the gas money saved by NOT going to HD- to purchase healthy plants from responsible vendors who need your support.
best,
mindy


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