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					                                                                             Gillian Guthrie
                                                                                 BUSA 308
                                                                                     4.27.08

Retail Assignment: Home Depot

       I helped my mom build a deck around her house this weekend; we needed to

purchase the lumber planks to nail to the top of the deck and decided to head to the

nearest store with lumber in stock: Home Depot.

       Before entering the store, I read a big bold sign that read, “We will beat anyone’s

selling price by 10%!” As we passed through the doors at the main entrance, the sweet

scent of freshly cut cedar lumber filled my nostrils as I quickly began to observe the

myriad of employees walking about the store—easily identifiable in their bright orange

aprons. The ceilings were extremely high and the store emanated a warehouse vibe; each

aisle was neatly labeled for shopping convenience and each shelf tidily stocked to full

capacity. I heard the high pitch sound of a saw grinding far off in the distance. I saw

employees standing on tall ladders loading items onto machinery for a customer who

wanted an item from the top of the shelf and another employee carrying two large bags of

sand over his shoulder for an elderly man; both employees were smiling. I noticed the

different sections instantaneously: kitchenettes that brought each used raw material to

life; seemingly real bathrooms fully equipped with bath mats, shower curtains and

beveled mirrors; a thousand different lighting fixtures hanging from the ceiling; a paint

section with a million different shades to choose from; hardware and tools; gardening

galore; lumber, lumber and more lumber.

       As we approached the lumber section, we were approached by a younger

gentleman in an orange apron with a nametag that read, Travis; “Is there something I can

help you with?” Perusing and sniffing, I suppose we did look a little lost amid the

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plethora of lumber—my mom and I love the different scents of lumber as we do the

different scents of coffee. After explaining what we were up to and what we needed,

Travis told us he could help us, but he would be right back. About one minute later, he

arrived with another older man, whose nametag read, Larry. Larry began to educate us on

the kinds of lumber that would be appropriate given the location and type of deck we

were building. Larry knew his stuff; Travis stood beside him seemingly taking in every

word—learning. After deciding on cedar, Larry explained the deal that was going on;

“Today’s your lucky day ladies, we’ve got 2x6x8 foot pressure-treated cedar which

usually sells for $13 a piece, going for $6.50 a piece which is a steal!” After deciding to

purchase 150 of the planks, we had saved almost $1000! Larry and Travis began loading

it onto a forklift for us almost immediately. Before heading out, Travis asked if there was

anything else we needed—Larry chimed in and added, “You’re going to want to stain this

first then brush on a water repellant sealant to protect the deck from weather damage; for

what you’re doing, I recommend the Bear cedar stain because it won’t let you down.” My

proactive mother had already purchased the majority of the tools and materials including

galvanized nails etc.—though she had yet to purchase stain and sealant. We sauntered

over to the sealant and stain section and added four cans of each to the bill. At checkout,

a woman named Susan informed us that the Home Depot offers classes every Saturday on

a variety of topics; this Saturdays was a class on how to lay tiles in your bathroom. We

signed up to receive email updates for next Saturday’s class. We left the store feeling

prepared to finish the deck, confident in the quality of the materials and content with the

overall price of the goods—thank you Larry & Travis!

       Home Depot’s target market ranges from the do-it-yourself builder/designer/creator,

to the professional builders/designers/creators: anyone with a home project to finish. Their

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mantra is, “Building something? We can help.” Their products have immense depth and

width; I was impressed at the variety of, well, everything they had in stock. The

presentation of the store itself was organized and confused-consumer friendly. Labels were

aplenty. My mom and I both agreed that the service was excellent and indeed left an

indelible positive impression on the both of us. Furthermore, my mom didn’t even have to

cross the Narrow’s bridge because there is a Home Depot on both sides of the Narrow’s—

which is very convenient given the price of a gallon of gasoline these days.

         I believe Home Depot nails their target market’s wants and needs through their

impeccably enthusiastic, experienced, and knowledgeable employees; the breadth, width,

and depth of their products and product lines; their unbeatable prices; their numerous

convenient locations; their additional information via Saturday classes or their web-page;

and their overall excellent service quality. If I’m building something, I’m going to Home

Depot!



         Content:      40/40
         Write:        10/10
         Total:        50/50

         Very well written and developed Gillian.




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