Thursday, August 27, 2015

Another week of retail frustration

Trying to put some final touches on a house rehab project.

It's been another week of running from store to store trying to snag enough parts, components and miscellaneous supplies to get the job done.

A decade ago, I could walk into any big box home improvement store, and seemed to be able to walk out with what I needed. Today, I count on making three or four stops to gather the same kind of market basket.

Retailers are running on ever-thinning inventories. It theoretically keeps their costs down, while maxing out customer frustrations.

I also find that checking online for inventory isn't fool proof. Saw the store near my had an electrical component I wanted, a small copper ground block.  But in the store, it was nowhere to be found. While one part of the website told me several of the items were in the store,  the store's online layout "finder" map wouldn't give a location. Clerk had no better luck locating in it on his gizmo. I settled for a substitute product.

Last night, I went to a particular store because it supposedly had four 3-inch drain stops in stock, or so the online site professed. At the store, there was no bin dedicated to the part, nor did the store's in-house system show it was ever stocked there. Next store, same company, about ten miles up the road, had the item in stock. Yes, I make a point to scout alternative stores before leaving home, just in case the first stop doesn't pan out.

Am I just being nostalgic, or was life really better when I could go into a store, load up a cart (sometimes two or more), and have everything I needed to spend the rest of the week on a job site getting repairs or up-grades done?

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