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Home Depot installing 40,000 high-tech cameras
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | 09/16/03 | TONY WILBERT

Posted on 09/16/2003 2:14:22 PM PDT by Kennesaw

Home Depot installing 40,000 high-tech cameras

Smile, you're on Home Depot camera, high-tech style.

The Atlanta-based retailer said Tuesday it has begun installing real-time, digital surveillance camera systems in all of its 1,600 stores in North America. The system will use 40,000 video cameras to allow Home Depot to better monitor its stores and cut down on shoplifting, the company said.

While Home Depot acknowledged that several other retailers currently use digital video surveillance, the company said it is one of the first to use a standardized digital system throughout all store operations.

"For the first time, Home Depot will have significantly increased real-time video coverage of its stores," said Troy Rice, senior vice president of operations. "The new system will help continue our trend of lowering losses due to theft, provide a powerful new deterrent and enable faster, more conclusive investigations by law enforcement."

Home Depot said the new digital technology will outperform the analog technology it currently uses because images from dozens of cameras can be stored nearly indefinitely. Also, Home Depot stores where crimes may have occurred can e-mail images to police departments investigating the reports.

The new system also will help Home Depot fight identity fraud, the company said.

Home Depot expects to complete installation of the new monitoring system by the end of January.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bigbrother; camera; homedepot; surveillance
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To: lelio
Good point. I avoid that place now; no reason for the person with the money to spend to wait ten minutes standing in a damn line.
51 posted on 09/16/2003 2:58:15 PM PDT by fortaydoos
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To: SamAdams76
Pretty sure Vegas already has all this in place now.

The have as much clout & budget as big bro & are pushing the tech avant gaurde big time on a daily basis.

Plus, since it's private biz folks, they'll be marketing these new security products everywhere soon as they can.

52 posted on 09/16/2003 3:00:47 PM PDT by norraad
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To: lelio
Hey, if you ever need to know how to lay parquet or install ceramic tile in a tub-surround, LMK! LOL!

We do get brain drain at the store. Teh store is in Ann Arbor, and every fall they get college students who need to be spoon-fed. hubby told one of those off just today. Fellow was shocked that he was being expected to WORK for his pay! LOL! Tia

53 posted on 09/16/2003 3:02:41 PM PDT by tiamat ("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno World!")
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To: Darius; dead
Why does anyone even go to Home Depot?

Here in North Carolina, I never have problems with long lines or poor service at any of the big box stores. I do find that on many items, their prices are not much better than I can get down at our local "country store".

Anybody out West ever been to Frye's? Anybody down East ever been to Durgan Park? Those two set the standard for poor service. It's so bad that it's hilarious!

54 posted on 09/16/2003 3:03:01 PM PDT by snopercod (If I only had a brain...)
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To: Kennesaw
They're installing 40,000 cameras in Home Depot? There won't be any room for the merchandise!
55 posted on 09/16/2003 3:06:54 PM PDT by GreenHornet
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To: _Jim; meyer
Check out the link in Jim's tagline!
56 posted on 09/16/2003 3:07:37 PM PDT by snopercod (If I only had a brain...)
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To: Beelzebubba
I like the shops where they have an aisle full of drawers with all kinds of hardware, so you can buy exactly as many 8-cent screws as you need. Those 5 for $1.49 packets drive me nuts! .........

Those places are more and more scarce. I liked it when I could scoop out just enough nails & drywall screws and get them weighed
57 posted on 09/16/2003 3:09:10 PM PDT by dennisw (G_d is at war with Amalek for all generations)
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To: Darius
Because everyone thinks they're going to save money. I always go to ACE unless I positively can't help going to the depot. Ace has real American hardware that is of much better quality that the sh*t chinese screws you get at Home Depot. The service at the depot also sucks major wind. I know, I used to work there.
58 posted on 09/16/2003 3:09:33 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: tiamat
I can tell you that the store I worked at was poorly managed. The Old Veteran employees would make themselves scarce and leave the rest of us to handle angry crowds of customers who were angry because they couldn't find anyone to help them. I had to stock seven aisles and help the customers too and just couldn't keep up. It was hell for a twelve hour shift.
59 posted on 09/16/2003 3:13:30 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: Porterville
If it happens we need a law against flying 2x4's :) and second the digital Video will somehow be erased....accidently of course.
60 posted on 09/16/2003 3:16:29 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: tiamat
I guess I'm going to have to be in the minority and agree with you.

We live next door to a Home Depot. Being in an apartment, I don't have much need for major hardware items, but when I do have a need, I usually don't know anything about what I have to buy.

Without fail, I have found the store personnel knowledgeable, curteous, and haven't had to wait a long time in line. Could just be my experience, but there it is.

A true HD story -

My sister and I went to get some paint & supplies. After shopping, we sat outside at the hot dog stand and had a soda. She looked in the bag w/the rollers, etc., pulled out a paint stirrer and said,

"Wow, that's nice for them to give us these nail files. And look how big they are too!"

A couple of girly-girls and proud of it. : )
61 posted on 09/16/2003 3:18:20 PM PDT by radiohead
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To: dljordan
Don't get me wrong. Retail sucks, and I really wish he was doing something different. Something that doesn't make him lift weights and where the hours are a little more condusive to family life.

Sounds like the store you were at was badly run. Hubby is very seldom able to get OT, and breaks are MANDITORY.

Usually here it's the part-timers and students who flake.


62 posted on 09/16/2003 3:19:46 PM PDT by tiamat ("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno World!")
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To: Kennesaw
It is not about identifying fraud!

It is about beng able to track customer movements within the store and analyze who responds to what displays.

63 posted on 09/16/2003 3:24:19 PM PDT by ikka
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To: Kennesaw
Here's my two cents. My future son-in-law is assistant manager at our local Home Depot. Long before I met him, we made frequent trips into HD. We've taken tiling classes and also some on painting. The only bad experience I've ever had in the store was when I foolishly stood and looked at all their nifty ceiling lights and fans and it made me sick to my stomach to watch all those swirling things. Our area is lucky to have a store that the employees are plentiful and the help is geniune. Hopefully some HD employees will see this thread and do something about improvements in your areas.
64 posted on 09/16/2003 3:26:07 PM PDT by Cate
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To: Still Thinking
Also, I know they mention theft numerous times in the article, but my first thought was shrinkage, which I didn't see mentioned once.
Telling the press you are installing a super-duper 21st century camera system to reduce shoplifting makes investors feel warm and fuzzy. Saying you are doing to keep your employees from robbing you blind has a different effect on Wall Street.

65 posted on 09/16/2003 3:27:12 PM PDT by azcap
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To: radiohead
LOL! I like your story! I will pass it on.

In all defense of retail, I will say that a lot of customers are just plain nasty. I have seen my husband do everything but stand on his head to make people happy and some people will still get an attitude.

Years ago when he worked at Color Tile, there was one real witch who had changed her special order several times, had gotten my husband to throw in a lot of product for free, ( Commision sales and that's food off of OUR table! ) gotten him to drive the stuff to her house on his own time, and she STILL was abusive and nasty.
I got a load of her one day when I was in the store buying more groat for a project we were doing at our first house, and this witch came in and started on him. Mys husband behaved like a gentlman and tried to help her. Not good enough for her!
I couldn't stand it. Without identifying myself as his wife, I lit her up but good.
Hubby's manager sent me flowers the next day because this woman had been making them all miserable for days!


66 posted on 09/16/2003 3:27:43 PM PDT by tiamat ("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno World!")
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To: finnman69
You can put skill saw blades in betwwen sheets of drywall or plywood

They should put cameras outside at the day labor pool see whos here that should not be
67 posted on 09/16/2003 3:30:07 PM PDT by al baby (Ice cream does not have bones)
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To: _Jim
Hypothetically speaking, where do you 'slip' those things for their trip out the building?

Good question. However, I saw a rather large woman attempt to sneak out a frozen whole turkey between her legs on one of those dumbest criminals shows. So anything is possible I guess. But I am not advocating stealing!

After all, it is one of those pesky 10 commandments that the ACLU doesn't seem to like. :)

68 posted on 09/16/2003 3:31:12 PM PDT by John123 (No, I have not forgotten!)
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To: _Jim
Bar code tag swapping is a big ripoff in all hardware stores.
69 posted on 09/16/2003 3:31:36 PM PDT by Uncle George
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To: TheMole
Two words ... employee theft. Surprises me nobody else mentioned it.

Correct! I worked about 25 years in retail. Every security person will tell you the majority of shrinkage is due to employee theft.

70 posted on 09/16/2003 3:37:32 PM PDT by steveo (I'm so hungry I could eat at Arby's)
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To: Kennesaw
Will the digitized images be watched by bored 3rd world night shift workers in India? Wait a minute, why not Iraqis?
71 posted on 09/16/2003 3:40:30 PM PDT by rector seal
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They better boost the lighting like Lowes or they will need infrared to see in some parts of their stores .
72 posted on 09/16/2003 3:42:16 PM PDT by Renegade
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To: Kennesaw

You'd think Home Depot cares more about its stores than some Americans care about protecting citizens from terrorists.
73 posted on 09/16/2003 3:51:41 PM PDT by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: Cate
I've been pretty pleased with the HD here in Arizona. Trying to find the one guy in the lumber department is always a holy grail but they have what I want and will meet any price. I think their employees (and the same goes for Lowes, etc) fall into three categories.
    1.) The  Pro - These are the guys you want to find. Like the Freepers husband they understand both hardware and customer service. They can you tell you if they sell it, where to find, and how to use it. Every Home Depot has several of these gurus but you have to wade through the other two types to find them.
    2.) Cletus - Cletus is 22 years old and the entry level position at Home Depot is the height of his professional career. When he is fired in a few months for trying to do wheelies on the forklift he just won't understand how it all went wrong. Cletus thinks there are two kinds of screws X screws and Minus screws. Never ask Cletus to help you find anything. Start all conversations with Cletus with "Can you find me someone who can help me..."
    3.)  Ed - Ed lost his contractors license last year after that apartment fire you saw on the local news. Ed is the most dangerous kind. Ed is the guy who sold your sister copper piping for her lawn sprinklers. Thank god for the orange vests, because without it Ed would be in a white leisure suit with a bass fishing tie.  Avoid the Eds.

74 posted on 09/16/2003 3:55:36 PM PDT by azcap
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To: azcap
You left off 4.) The Store Opener - Part of the team which goes from store to store when they have their grand opening. For a couple of months you can't walk into a Home Depot ailes without tripping over 3 or 4 of them. Then, like great flocks of migrating birds, they gather together to go to their next nesting ground, leaving tumbleweeds blowing through the ailes and a few customers wandering around hopelessly looking for left handed monkey wrenches.
75 posted on 09/16/2003 4:30:30 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Fight Czarism in America!)
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To: Cobra64
But they don't know where anything is.

However, they don't let that little inconvenience stop them from telling you what you're looking for is in Aisle 5, even though it really isn't in Aisle 5.

I hate Lowes as much as I hate Home Depot. Drugs isn't all they should test prospective employees for. Basic intelligence should be a requirement, for a start.

76 posted on 09/16/2003 4:31:29 PM PDT by savedbygrace
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To: steveo
At the retailer I worked at in the 70s the biggest thief turned out to be the MANAGERS ,either alone or leading a group of no-account workers !!!!

"Free" tires,batteries,oil changes, and even RIDING LAWN TRACTORS went out the door; shipping records tossed or altered? to cover up. The "ordinary" $20k annual loss soared to $100k after I left. One of the junior perps was heard bragging about the thefts but to my gratification, said" We had to wait until XXXXXXX left for the day or on his day off because he was too square"

The company eventually went out of business. Pinhead fools think "the company","the gov't", "etc." have an unending supply of money and stealing won't hurt anybody !?!

77 posted on 09/16/2003 5:01:03 PM PDT by hoosierham
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Comment #78 Removed by Moderator

To: Kennesaw
Hmmm, found this tidbit

Posted - 08/19/2003 : 07:36:42 AM

The Home Depot had a Loss Prevention team a few yearas ago but did away with it. They are now bringing it back in which red flags should start going up just because of that. You will be working a minimum of 55-60 hours a week. I worked as a LP Manager for Lowes and I believe its a similiar structure. It is not typical LP where you get to catch bad guys and interview internals. You will be chasing paperwork all day and have very little time on the camera system. When you do use the camera system it will be for refund verification. LP at Home depot is more Shrink Control through paperwork errors and Saftey than anything else. You will probably have to wear one of their vests when you walk around on the floor, and help customers when needed. The LP training at Lowes was around 8 months, thats how much paperwork you have to know, plus you have to know every other department in the store and be certified in all of it. That means you will unloading trucks in receiving at 3 or 4 in the morning for about a week or so. Home depot has killed several people in their store because of saftey issues so I am guessing that saftey will be your priority. As far as advancement, you will probably have to re-locate if you want to advance in the company and want a higher pay rate. The pay rate in Home Depot and Lowes is based on the crime in the area and the Shrink Rate. It goes by classes from 2-6 I believe. What you should take into consideration is when you look on or some similiar website you will see that most of the LP jobs available are from Home Depot and Lowes. This means that they cannot recruit and KEEP their LP managers because of unfair treatment. The bonus structure is based on if the store meets their shrink goals or not, if they dont, you dont get a bonus. I would only go to Home Depot if nothing else is available.

and this one

Home Depot is not a place to be if you want to go to LP. Everything bad you hear is right, and everything you hear good is wrong. Yeah, they make you work a MINIMUM of 55 hours a week. You get a staff of 1 maybe 2 LP people. There are endless audits and inventory tracking. The number one problem is the safety issues. I think like 9 people in the last two years have died at Home Depot from merchandise and stocking vehicle accidents. One of the most recent was a refridgerator that fell on a 8 year old girl. This company is full of libility issues that will heavily involve you.
79 posted on 09/16/2003 5:21:03 PM PDT by razorback-bert
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To: _Jim
Here is the story on this and HD

Despite the implied transience of the mobile home lifestyle, Trailer Haven has a look of permanence about it. Among the cypress trees and the knee-high wooden fences separating one leafy lot from the next, residents of the San Leandro trailer park have tricked out their lots with all the trappings of home: windmills and goofy lawn signs and statuary painted a not-quite-convincing shade of gold. But not lot #190. No more than an asphalt parking space on the outer edge of the camp next to the pay phone and the exit gate, lot #190 is meant for people who don't plan to stick around for long.
Staking out the park on June 12, 2002, Brian Odell and Matt O'Brien were worried that the three inhabitants of that lot were about to leave town in a hurry. Both men work as investigators for Home Depot, the nation's second-largest retail chain. They believed that the people whose trailer was parked on lot #190 were engineering a massive bar-code scam that had defrauded their company of hundreds of thousands of dollars. For weeks, Home Depot's loss-prevention department had been tracking the trio's movements as they refunded their way through Texas, Arizona, and then California. By the time they'd swept through the Bay Area, they'd hit stores in Pittsburg, Concord, San Ramon, and Pleasanton. They'd been to El Cerrito, Emeryville, Union City, and Milpitas. They'd been as far north as Sacramento and as far south as Salinas.

But until now, Home Depot's investigators had always been at least a day behind the three. They'd pored over in-store surveillance tape of a large, balding, middle-aged man, later identified as John Patrick Hay, who apparently entered the store with pre-cut bar-code stickers, photocopied en masse at a copy shop. He affixed them over the existing bar codes on the items he wished to buy, selecting the same products every time: a kitchen faucet retailing at $169, which he would relabel with a sticker for a lower-end model worth only $39. He did the same with an outdoor lighting kit worth $249, which he would cover with the bar codes for a cheaper model worth $55. The sales for the more expensive items would then be rung up at the lower price. Later the same day, the group would show up at a neighboring Home Depot and a second graying, middle-aged man later identified as Anthony Davenport would peel off the homemade sticker, then return the items for their original prices. With each exchange, he would pocket the difference between the two grades of home fixture. Since he usually exchanged several faucets and light kits at a time, each visit to the refund desk yielded between $1,000 and $1,500. When asked for identification, the men often presented English or Irish passports; later investigation would reveal that they had more than a dozen of these, each with a different serial number.

Davenport's wife, Linda Broderick, was the third member of the group. Although she had only been captured once on a Home Depot camera, the investigators believed that her name was on the multiple bank accounts into which the trio's profits were funneled. As part of the stakeout, O'Brien had trailed Broderick and Davenport to a San Leandro Bank of America, where Broderick transferred a $300,000 cashier's check to her account with the Bank of Ireland. Although the trio still had several days left on their rent at Trailer Haven, the banking transaction seemed like a sure sign that they were planning to split.

After weeks of surveillance, the Home Depot security officers knew they were onto something big, but they didn't quite know how big. They didn't know that the events of that day would unleash a bizarre yearlong investigation that will culminate in Oakland next week with the beginning of the sentencing process for Davenport, Hay, and Broderick on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They didn't know that the trio's trail would lead through at least 24 states, and that the investigation's nationwide scope would draw in the FBI and the US Attorney's Office. They didn't know that the dent the three managed to make in Home Depot's pocketbook, originally estimated at $400,000, would soar toward an estimated $1 million. They didn't know that the scam artists' methodology would turn into a case study on how to beat the bar-code system with nothing more than a Xerox machine and a polite insistence that the customer is always right. And they didn't know that the three would be linked to the Irish Travelers, a shadowy ethnic subculture with a reputation among law enforcement officials for conducting home improvement and shoplifting scams. All they knew was that their suspects were in sight, and that they were getting away.

see the rest at
80 posted on 09/16/2003 7:10:17 PM PDT by razorback-bert
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To: Kennesaw
I don't think I want to shop at HD anymore.
81 posted on 09/16/2003 8:43:54 PM PDT by pray4liberty
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To: Darius
Ditto for Walmart.

Save 15% but loose 45 minutes waitng in line cause the guy in front of me has a pair of socks with no price on it!
82 posted on 09/16/2003 10:28:05 PM PDT by Kay Soze (If punch card voting is not legal than Gore did not win California!)
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To: lelio
Good point.

I, personally, am boycotting that store. The service sucks and last time I was in one I had to wait almost an hour to check out. I even asked two separate workers to find some more checkers and they told me they were in the middle of inventory and there were no more checkers. Too bad for me.

There's something about a lengthy wait in line to give my money to someone that just doesn't seem right.

Besides, I don't know if you've noticed it, but their prices have skyrocketed.
83 posted on 09/16/2003 10:44:07 PM PDT by Auntie Mame (Why not go out on a limb, isn't that where the fruit is?)
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To: Kennesaw
So that is where the inventory and training dollars went. I hear new mgmt. is ex-GE guys who don't know how to run a contractor/DIY shop.

The four stores in near North/East Dallas are insulting fiascos. Inventory is so thin that it costs more money to shop there and the next place than to go on and skip H.D.

Too bad that H.D. didn't get the cameras et al. plugged in in time to tape me leaving in disgust for their security training.
84 posted on 09/16/2003 10:55:25 PM PDT by SevenDaysInMay (Federal judges and justices serve for periods of good behavior, not life. Article III sec. 1)
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To: Auntie Mame
I even asked two separate workers to find some more checkers

Same here. Well it was at a Lowe's and I walked over to the manager in charge that was throwing a flippin nerf football to his friends to get some cashiers up there pronto. He huffed and called a "Code Red" which probably means "See if you can kick lelio out of the store."

Well no one came in 5 minutes so I ask dufus again, and this time he opens up a register himself.

What really amazes me is that HD hasn't gone to a single line approach, where everyone gets in one huge line and then they go to the next available cashier. I always manage to get behind the person that doesn't label their 12 different varieties of screws and this would solve that.

Oh and then there was the time they ran out of carts, the day I'm trying to pick up some laminate flooring to the tune of $800. You would think they'll have some in the aisle for people to use, but no. Fed up with this low rent treatment I walked across the street to a store that just sold wood flooring.

Perhaps that's why HD's are stand alone stores and aren't often in strip malls like that one: a business could setup right there and get all the frustrated HD customers as instant buyers. Heck you could just offer to go over to HD for a 10% fee and you'll be making money.
85 posted on 09/16/2003 11:52:21 PM PDT by lelio
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To: snopercod
Check out the link in Jim's tagline!

Thanks! I've been watching that site for a bit, courtesy of Jim, but I appreciate the ping.

86 posted on 09/17/2003 9:22:53 AM PDT by meyer
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To: Peace will be here soon
You mean to tell me they actually have employees at Home Depot? Where are they? Where, where, where??
87 posted on 09/18/2003 8:44:25 AM PDT by freemax
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To: lelio
You're lucky; you only waited a half hour. I spent more than that at the one or two cashiers open out of over a dozen cash registers I see, and these cashiers don't even have a clue!
88 posted on 09/18/2003 8:46:01 AM PDT by freemax
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To: randog
Yep, clueless customers and clueless cashiers. No wonder Home Depot is losing customers to Lowes.
89 posted on 09/18/2003 8:48:46 AM PDT by freemax
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To: Peace will be here soon
There used to be a Mom & Pop shop down the street from me, been there for 50 years until Home Depot came along. The owners wanted to retire, and figured it was easier just closing shop, sell off their inventory, sell the building than to sell the hardware shop to a buyer who probably would go out of business to Home Depot which went up right down the street from them. Thank you Home Depot. I really liked the friendly service I recieved at this store.
90 posted on 09/18/2003 8:52:26 AM PDT by freemax
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Spend more money hiring employees, less on cameras, and I think everyone will be happier.

Certainly the filty thieves. I will be happier with the lower prices.

91 posted on 09/18/2003 9:00:41 AM PDT by Protagoras (Putting government in charge of morality is like putting pedophiles in charge of children.)
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To: Still Thinking
Did you say SHRINKAGE!!?

92 posted on 09/18/2003 9:02:38 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: freemax
Competition is the lifeblood of business.
93 posted on 09/18/2003 9:05:36 AM PDT by Protagoras (Putting government in charge of morality is like putting pedophiles in charge of children.)
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To: ZGuy; lelio; dfwgator; dead; randog
I won't be using these self-checkout registers at HD or eldewhere unless they give a dicount, just like gas stations do for self-service.
94 posted on 09/18/2003 9:19:51 AM PDT by Feldkurat_Katz (if they are gay, why are they always complaining?)
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To: Feldkurat_Katz
I won't be using these self-checkout registers at HD or eldewhere unless they give a dicount, just like gas stations do for self-service.

Are you still holding out on ATM's?

95 posted on 09/18/2003 9:22:25 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: freemax
Yes. I am going to see the same thing here. We have a nice locally owned hardware store that has been in business for as long as I can remember. I go there all the time, I avoid the Depot and Lowes whenever possible. They built a Lowes about a year ago about a half mile down the road from this locally owned place, and now, a Home Depot is going in across the street from Lowes !! My favorite hardware store has already given signals to the local newspaper that they will probably close down. I hope they have enough regulars like me to stay around but it doesn`t sound good. Thank you, to the Mayor and city counsel for approving this Home Depot to come in and drive out another locally owned business. I hope you all got paid well.
96 posted on 09/18/2003 2:20:38 PM PDT by Peace will be here soon
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To: Cobra64
IIRC there was a thread on FR last year about Lowes funding anti-gun groups. I won't spend a dime there ever again.
97 posted on 09/18/2003 2:46:43 PM PDT by e_engineer
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