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Should Stores have exclusivity rights?


Jronman

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I got to thinking Menards has a huge selection of brands under the Robert Bosch and Chervon parent companies. Home Depot already has the TTI market covered. Lowes is also a big SB&D retailer. Should the big 3 home improvement stores have exclusivity rights for certain brands of tools? It seems like they are kinda sorta doing this already. Smaller tool stores like Ace hardware, Acme tool, Do it Best etc. would not apply. Menards could get rid of the SB&D presence and optimize the brands under the Robert Bosch, Chervon, Masterforce, and Metabo/Metabo HPT brands. Home Depot could optimize for TTI brands and Makita. Lowes would be full on SB&D and Kobalt. It might give tool users of multiple brands incentive to shop between stores instead of favoring one over another. Having less brands could also mean you could offer larger lineups of one brand in store instead of having to offer less of one brand to make more room for other brands. It could be slightly less convenient for some but offer a slightly larger line of products per brand which could be an acceptable compromise.

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My biggest complaint with offering so many different brands in store is the selection becomes increasingly limited. One time I went to Home Depot to buy a specific omt because I knew they sold said omt. Turns out they did sell it but not in store. It is things like this that kinda annoy me. 

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It would be nice if they didnt because theres a Lowes about a mile from my house but Im a Milwaukee/Ryobi/Husky guy; so I always find myself driving the 15 minutes to Home Depot or I'll stop by HD on the way home from work because theres a HD right on the way home.

If I just need something quick and dont care what brand it is, I'll hit up Lowes though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As an East Coast/Gulf Coast resident I've never even seen a Menards, and while Home Depot is the largest home improvement chain, Lowe's has a monopoly on a lot of small Southern towns (I've noticed that HD seems to stick close to the interstates).  Brand exclusivity would guarantee limited sales of Bosch and MetaboHPT tools outside of the Midwest.  Also, consider that Menards has a fraction of locations compared to Lowe's and HD (@350 compared to over 2200 each for the latter two), and no major tool brand would voluntarily limit themselves to a restricted consumer base.

 

With that said, in a sense the two largest chains have managed to essentially do what you propose.  Home Depot is the only physical retailer to sell TTI's Ridgid and Ryobi 18v power tools, is dominated by Milwaukee, and offers Makita as well.  Lowe's has a less impressive (IMO) selection of brands and leans on DeWalt as it's premier brand (with Kobalt, MetaboHPT, Bosch, Bostitch, Craftsman, and Porter Cable having variable presences in stores).  The most obvious "crossover" brand between the two stores is DeWalt, but even that brand is split.  Home Depot gets FlexVolt and Atomic, while Lowe's gets the 12v Max tools.  This goes back for years, as my string trimmer and blower were Lowe's clearance specials, purchased in early 2016 as Lowe's gave up 20v Max OPE just as Home Depot was starting to stock it.

 

As for having a large selection of tools, I think it really just depends on the store.  I've noticed that Home Depot in particular focuses on different brands and tools depending on the size and location of their stores.  In Northern Virginia, for example, the Milwaukee section offers just about anything you could want, up to and including demolition hammers and accessories.  Further south, there are Ridgid end caps in some stores, Makita in others, and most stores have a Ryobi endcap.  Some of the Atlanta area stores carry just about anything tool you want in the major HD brands.

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On 12/10/2020 at 12:04 PM, fm2176 said:

As an East Coast/Gulf Coast resident I've never even seen a Menards, and while Home Depot is the largest home improvement chain, Lowe's has a monopoly on a lot of small Southern towns (I've noticed that HD seems to stick close to the interstates).  Brand exclusivity would guarantee limited sales of Bosch and MetaboHPT tools outside of the Midwest.  Also, consider that Menards has a fraction of locations compared to Lowe's and HD (@350 compared to over 2200 each for the latter two), and no major tool brand would voluntarily limit themselves to a restricted consumer base.

 

With that said, in a sense the two largest chains have managed to essentially do what you propose.  Home Depot is the only physical retailer to sell TTI's Ridgid and Ryobi 18v power tools, is dominated by Milwaukee, and offers Makita as well.  Lowe's has a less impressive (IMO) selection of brands and leans on DeWalt as it's premier brand (with Kobalt, MetaboHPT, Bosch, Bostitch, Craftsman, and Porter Cable having variable presences in stores).  The most obvious "crossover" brand between the two stores is DeWalt, but even that brand is split.  Home Depot gets FlexVolt and Atomic, while Lowe's gets the 12v Max tools.  This goes back for years, as my string trimmer and blower were Lowe's clearance specials, purchased in early 2016 as Lowe's gave up 20v Max OPE just as Home Depot was starting to stock it.

 

As for having a large selection of tools, I think it really just depends on the store.  I've noticed that Home Depot in particular focuses on different brands and tools depending on the size and location of their stores.  In Northern Virginia, for example, the Milwaukee section offers just about anything you could want, up to and including demolition hammers and accessories.  Further south, there are Ridgid end caps in some stores, Makita in others, and most stores have a Ryobi endcap.  Some of the Atlanta area stores carry just about anything tool you want in the major HD brands.

Not to mention Menards stocks that cheapest stuff they can get.  Menards seems great until you look at some of their business practices.

I was born and raised in Wisconsin and only shopped at Menards until recently but they dont sell any of the brands that I like and Im willing to pay a bit more for quality products and the brands that I like.

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What is Menads doing with their business practices?  Yes, I agree about the cheap stuff and you really have to shop around the store to make sure you really are getting a good value.  I think some of their stuff is good deals and other stuff, well, it's cheap and I just wouldn't buy.

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I mostly go to Menards for buying the big bags of shelled pistachios. In terms of tools and tool related accessories, I might get something every now and again but they don't carry any of the battery platforms I own which is a reason I find it hard to shop for cordless tools at Menards. There are a few quality hand tool brands I have gotten there. I've gotten most of my Knipex at Menards and half of it I used rebates on. Thats where Menards does a good job. You use your rebates to buy tools that you wouldn't normally buy. I probably wouldn't have gotten my first pair of Cobras if it wasn't for a rebate. Best tool buying decision I have made at Menards. Menards isn't really intended for tool users like me. Something like an Acme Tool, Toolnut, Rockler, or Woodcraft is more geard for what I like. They aren't afraid to offer your higher end tools.

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On 12/19/2020 at 7:51 AM, Eric - TIA said:

Agree.  I really go to Menards for wood because their selection is so much bigger then HD or Lowes, at least by me.  I always leave with some food item.

 

This reminds me of Stine, down in Louisiana (https://www.stinehome.com/).  They have a large drive through lumber yard which seems to offer a better selection than most Lowe's and Home Depot stores.  They also sell DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Craftsman, and other power tools.  Plus, they are uniquely Louisianan, in that they have a lot of regionally popular items that other home improvement stores just don't sell.  Jambalaya and boiling pots, for example, as well as plenty of LSU themed products.

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That's is crazy.  When i go to the website, it reminds me of Menards to the T, well except for name.   It's cool to see all the region stores around and how they all compare to each other.

 

Now that you brought up Jambalaya, I know what I am having for dinner tonight.  I have never had real Jambalaya.  If I go down south, that is one of my first things I am doing.  I take a short cut and use Zatarain's Jambalaya mix. Yes, I know I can make homemade mix but I have talked to a couple of different people who says there is just a bunch of old recipes down there that have been past down and don't compare to anything you will find online.

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Eric,

 

I though the same when I went to Menard's website yesterday.  Regional stores have a unique feel to them that cut and paste national chains lack.  

 

I plan to make a jambalaya pot one of my first purchases once I retire.  I went to a cook-off or two while I recruited down there and there really are no comparisons between online recipes and the "real deal".  I used to use Blue Runner meal bases (https://bluerunnerfoods.com/product/creole-jambalaya-base/) when I wanted something good but quick.  As an aside, the electrical contracting business my neighbor ran before he opened his own business did the wiring for Blue Runner's facility in Gonzales, LA.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Usually exclusive or limited rights to sell a branded product in a country are arranged between the sellers/distributors and the manufacturers. An example of this is BMW dealerships - the sellers enter detailed contracts with BMW - the sellers have to comply with a wide range of requirements, even down to having white snow blinds on their showrooms in countries with no snow. They are happy to comply because they are getting rich on the back of the BMW brand.

So if you have the intellectual property, patents etc of a product or range of products you can limit distribute through your licensed distributors. This is a good idea if you have a strong brand and you want to protect your companies reputation and of course you must a have strong legal department to pursue people selling without your permission.😁

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