View Full Version : Lesco Coming to Home Depot??

09-15-2002, 09:19 PM
– LESCO, Inc., has been chosen as a supplier to the Home Depot Landscape Supply pilot stores opening in August and September.

"LESCO branded products are the preferred choice of the lawn care contractor," said Michael P. DiMino, President and Chief Executive Officer of LESCO. "We have been successfully supplying professional grade products to Home Depot’s traditional home improvement stores and our product line will extend naturally into its pilot stores."

Home Depot intends to open three stand-alone pilot stores dedicated to the landscape business in its headquarters’ city of Atlanta. The new stores will target the professional landscaper and the avid do-it-yourself enthusiast. LESCO will supply professional-grade fertilizer and combination products for the professional lawn care customer under its own brand. The company has been a supplier to Home Depot for the past 10 years and is supplying fertilizer, combination products and seed to more than 800 of their locations.

"It’s important that we show our professional landscape customers that we’re serious about serving their needs," said Todd Williams, director, Home Depot Landscape Supply. "LESCO is a name recognized by landscapers as a company with professional grade products. This is why we thought LESCO products would be a good fit for our pilot stores

09-16-2002, 11:21 AM
We already have a very limited presence in many Home Depot stores. Right along side Scotts & Vigaro. Neither of whom have as much commercial recognition.

Atlanta will be the market chosen for Home Depot's pilot.

These sound a lot like the Expo centers, but for landscapers & serious DIY's.

What does everyone think about this? Atlantians?


09-19-2002, 04:59 PM
Hey another way for these 2 to drive down the prices for us true pro's.

Do the avg. joes that walk in off the street get the same prices as the pro's who buy thousands of dollars worth of the products?

The more access you give the avg. joe to pro grade products, the more you drive us true pro's out of the business!!!!

Want more said? e-mail me; Lawngodfather@aol.com

dan deutekom
09-19-2002, 06:23 PM
LAWNGODFATHER is absouloutly right!

The big box stores have ruined the mark up that used to be available on construction materials for decks and lockstone work and now it will kill it for the rest of the landscape and lawncare business. The public dosn't think they should pay for any markup on material that they can buy themselves for the same price. The big box stores around here either don't give a discount to contractors or it is very minimal:mad:

09-20-2002, 12:21 AM
Home Depot's response to my request for a contractor's discount was that their everyday prices are already at the contractor's discounted price.

If Home Depot moves into commercial landscape supplies, is landscape maintenance or installs far behind? Home depot has already moved into installation big time for carpeting, cabinets, wood floors, windows. Custom made windows and doors can now be ordered from Home Depot, but you must use Home Depot's installation services exclusively. This is Home Depot's long term trend to satisfy share holders and maintain growth. Long term I think this could be a threat to our businesses.


09-20-2002, 03:15 PM
Hit a sore spot huh?

It's free enterprise that made The Home Depot, Walmart, & General Motors who they are. And yes, some people got hurt along the way. Remember Builders Square, Grossmans, Channle (sp?),..the list is endless. I don't blame HD just because they won. The other guys also lost.

I suppose LESCO could have declined to supply HD. But that wouldn't help our shareholders.

Someone would have sold to them if not us.

So what if your customers can buy the same stuff anyway? They can't buy RUP's. And if that's all that makes you special in your market, then there is something very wrong somewhere. It takes more than a bag to make a professional out of an amatuer. Why the lack of confidence? Sell the results of your work. We sell bags of stuff. You sell high quality Lawn Care Services.

Most anyone can buy a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge full size pickup. Shall we hold it against them too? I mean after all, the local HD has 2 Chevy dump trucks for rent.

I've heard of the pricing issue too. Our "ladder system" isn't perfect. When it fails, people are dehumanized. Sales people such as myself "should" be bright enough to address the situation when the "system" doesn't funtion properly. I know, because that's what I'm doing right now, waiting for a customer to hang up his cell phone, so I can let him know that I fixed a problem.

Now if any supplier goes out and competes with you for the work that feeds your family, THAT'S ANOTHER STORY.

In my book, only a fool patronizes a competitor if there nothing in it for the business besides "stuff".

Just my opinion though.


dan deutekom
09-20-2002, 09:01 PM

Your comments are right and well received. My point is that the big box stores have changed the perception of the general public and has changed the way a contractor prices his services. In the past many of the costs were hidden in the mark up of the material. Now the contractor has to be much more up front about how he prices a job. Overall it is probably better this way but it is also harder because it takes a little of the "cushion" out of pricing a job. Another problem with the big box stores is that they have the capital and buying power that independants do not have. I know this is how free enterprise is supposed to work but I really feel we are moving towards monopolys because it is getting nearly impossible for someone to start and compete in a buisness unless they have a sizable cash amount which they will never get by working at minimum wage. I believe in free enterprise but sometimes there must be checks and measures put against it? The trouble with these big money making machines is that they must forever grow and to do so they move into more and more diversified areas stealing work from the very customers that made them what they are. Sorry for the ramble but these are just my disjointed opinions.

09-20-2002, 09:26 PM
I did a little more checking on this subject, here it goes;

Home Depo actualy takes a small loss on selling the High quality products to get us in the stores to buy other products they make a killing on. If they priced the stuff from lesco in their price scale they would be so high we would go else where to buy them.

They buy it for same if not more than what it sells for, so everyone is mislead on this incuding me.

Also Just saying it is Lesco products kind of gives the sence of high quality but it is in all reality low grade fert. Not saying it is the lowest grade, just the lowest grade Lesco sells.

I do not like the idea but not much we can do about it.

I goes kind of like name recognision.

09-20-2002, 11:05 PM

You think you feel a rant coming on? Look out. I can type talk the ears off an elephant & type!

The small independant. I understand. Honest.

10 years ago when I bought this house, The Home Depot had just opened up in the town next door. We allready had quite a few in the area, but this one was close. I checked everbodies price on the Porter & Cale Saw Boss that I wanted. They had it for the best price. They beat the local hardware store by $12.00. So I bought it at HD.

The front porch of this old house has a bunch of oddly sized wavy glass panels. One day while replacing the roof, I broke one. While buying coil nails at HD, I asked the kid in glass to cut me the size I needed. After destroying several pieces and cutting himself, I had my replacement. At the checkout, the girl rang up the SKU # he had written on the paper wrapper. $4.85 seemed like a lot of money for a small pane of glass, but I hadn't broken a window in so long, I thought perhaps I was out of touch.

A few weeks later, my brother in law comes to visit for a long weekend. The roof is done now and we're on to painting the exterior. "Uncle Al" broke 2 panes & my wife broke another ( I love them dearly, but boy are they clumsy! ). I really didn't feel like driving to HD. So off I go to the local hardware store.

That place was the oldest continuously operating hardware store in the state of CT. The guy there deftly cut my glass like it was nothing. He could have done it blind folded! Then he wrote the price on a much higher quality paper wrapper. $2.25.

Less than half the price. For better & quicker service. I bought three more panes of each size. I still haven't used them all.

At the counter a guy was asking for parts for his Milwaukee Sawzall. The counter person pulled out the set of brushes without even consulting a manual. The guy was marveling that HomeDepot had sold him the saw for $5.00 less than he'd been quoted here. And now they have no parts. Then he asked if he could purchase a repair manual for the saw so he could install the parts.

No need says the manager. He comes over & gives us all a lesson in Sawzall repair.

I felt so guilty about buying my SawBoss at HD after that. I vowed on the spot to always purchase my power tools from these folks from that point on. The heck with the $5 or $12. Who wouldn't pay that much to have this guy standing behind them? The last thing I want when a tool goes haywire is a high school kid staring at me with a dumb look on his face. Then the kid will waste 10 minutes of my time looking for his "manager", who will hand me a phone number for a customer service center, where instead of a person, I'll end up with voice mail. Never a solution on the first call. Just more hassles. I enjoyed life more when my taxes were paying this morons unemplyment benefits!

But none of this matters anymore. Lovell Hardware folded it up 3 years ago. Before them, the former "oldest hardware store in CT" had folded in New Haven. State Street Hardware had been in the same family since the 1800's. I know because I have a tool box down stairs that was my great grandfathers from the 1890's. He must have done OK for himself. He paid State the princely sum of $11.00 for that box. The price is still under the cover with the list of tools it contained & their address. Just down the road from CT's first HomeDepot.

It needn't be this bad though. It's through communication that we tell the managers that we expect a cut above the bagger at the supermarket. Big Boxes can be staffed by people who know their field & actually care about customers. But where are those people? A week doesn't go by that I don't ask at least 3 people if they know of anyone like this who's looking for a job.

Who says the economy is in the tank anyway. Until unemployment goes above 7%, you can't find good help anywhere.

It's no easier for us. Believe me.

Good night guys.


Green Pastures
09-20-2002, 11:49 PM
I too found out recently that I can get Lesco brand fert. at Home Depot CHEAPER than I can get it at Lesco. Go figure. Same exact stuff too.


03-06-2003, 08:40 PM
Just got the new Home Depot flier in the mail today. Lesco Dimension .07% Plus Fertilizer Professional 19-3-6 12.5k square foot coverage $19.97, weed and feed Professional 18-2-9 12.5k square foot coverage $19.45, I haven't used dimension yet but isn't it a RUP, or just when I want to use it in my business but Joe homeowner can spread all he wants. Kind of funny I received an invite to the local Lesco open house, not too sure if I want to spend my money there any more. Might not be the right way to look at it but how do you explain to your customer that yes those bags your unloading are the some ones that he can buy and no you won't be spreading it for $1.56per k. We don't mow and we are just starting up with the fertilizer/weed control business so any advice from those of you that have been around for a while would be appreciated.

03-06-2003, 09:24 PM
I will still be ordering my Lesco products from Omaha. Home Depot is homeowner-grade and that is not what I want.

Here is the ad on Home Depo: (page 2)
Lesco on HD (http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/prodmeta/pg_prodmeta.jsp?CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=Products_1%2fThe+Garden+Center_592%2fFertilizers_741%2fLawn+Treatments_743&BV_SessionID=@@@@0564773111.1047000004@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccceadchjmhfmgmcgelceffdfgidgjk.0&MID=75&ProductOID=326603)

03-06-2003, 09:34 PM
This is why I switch from lesco to other brands last years.What godfather said is true about getting them in the door.But also how can sell the same name brand to customers.For a higher price that they can go to depot and buy it there self.There is not much we can do about it.But home depot tried to sell lawn service last year in three city market and it bomb.So they went another route.Depot is in bed now with lesco,deere,echo big time.
Wonder what the future holds.Home depot also had there worst quarter on the stock exchange.Lowes had pulled ahead.You know guys maybe I long for the days of the little old hardware store. When you walked in they knew you by name. I really believe in my heart that the big guys will come tumbling down from there throne. Then the little guys will rise again.I believe the American man will get tired of the high end companys ripping them off. Look at us. Are the big nation wide lawn companys as strong as they were. The only way they can stay strong is to gooble each other up. I can go on and on but I believe that we are making a difference in our industry here.

:blob4: if the south would have won we would have had it made:blob4:

03-06-2003, 09:36 PM
Checked out the link you displayed. I was referring to an ad I received in the mail today. It shows a fertilizer with dimension and a 18-2-9 weed and feed, can you clue me in are these different than you are buying from Lesco. I buy a liquid fertilizer from a different supplier, but was planning on buy my pesticides and granular fertilizer (for customers that request it) from Lesco. So I admit I am not real familiar with their products, I was wondering how the HD advertised products compare with what Lesco is selling us.

03-06-2003, 11:21 PM
good question, casey. Tremor?

Remember, Lesco selling to and through Home Depot is undercutting their own stores. In my case, the nearest Lesco store is a 35 - 45 min drive thru lousy traffic. The Home Depot is 10 minutes on the interstate . . . and a new one going up 3 miles from the house. If Lesco markets a premium prof grade line (if there can be such a thing) thru it's own stores. . . otherwise. . .

03-06-2003, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by lawnstudent

If Home Depot moves into commercial landscape supplies, is landscape maintenance or installs far behind? Home depot has already moved into installation big time for carpeting, cabinets, wood floors, windows. Custom made windows and doors can now be ordered from Home Depot, but you must use Home Depot's installation services exclusively. This is Home Depot's long term trend to satisfy share holders and maintain growth. Long term I think this could be a threat to our businesses.


If HD wants to get into the business of installs I would gladly help them. I figure with the complaints I've heard about their installs on counter tops, windows, tile and the like there will be more for me to fix. Work quality is only good as the sub contractors. A contractor that has to work as sub to HD has problems. Either lacks experience, quality or a good reputation to make it on his own. More power to them.

Also those homeowners that are now making applications will continue to do so. Those that currently don't will not start just to save a few extra pennies. This latter group who makes up our market either doesn't want to be bothered, doesn't have the time, doesn't know how to do it and doesn't want to learn or has the money to pay for it. If this wasn't true, why are so many of us successful in our business.

A customer that even hints that my bid for certain services are too steep because he can buy the material from such and such a place or that job isn't that hard is told up front, " I guess you're right, if you think it isn't worth that much and is that easy I'll just back it out of the bid and you can do it yourself over the next several weekends. I assume you have all the necessary equipment, knowledge and time to do it." Just because a customer says "boo" doesn't mean I have to jump.

The sky is falling, the sky is falling........

03-07-2003, 12:24 AM
I always have thought that one big selling point of having a license is the fact that I can get the products that the average homeowner can't get, or even the ever present "scrub". But now unless I am reading the Lesco web site wrong it appears that the same products that are in the HD flier is also what the Lesco dealer is offering. I am still somewhat confused about the RUP type of products, I thought Dimension fit in this category, yet it is for sale at HD to the homeowner, maybe I am wrong about Dimension.

03-07-2003, 11:09 AM
Many of my customers would like to see me use Scott's because they think" I used Scott's for years with good results and now that I can't spread it myself..." I tell them I use Lesco and drive 100 miles to the store to get it because I feel there quality and consistency is that good. I tell them about Lesco being in biz for over 40 years and there reputation among the golf courses and athletic fields and huge Commercial applicators.
I could buy Scott's at wal-mart or Ace (or the store brand), Or I could buy from the Local farmers coop. I chose to drive the 100 miles for the quality and service I get there. Even if Wal-mart started selling LEsco fert I would still drive the 100 miles to a Lesco dealer because they have probably forgotten more about apps. than the whole discount store staff will ever know.

03-07-2003, 11:32 AM
I don't think that my average customer is even going to notice. The hire me to do this. I really don't want a customer who has the mentality that I should adjust my prices because of what he saw at H.D.

I don't even try to get the D.I.Y. customer, because they will always weigh price against service.

03-07-2003, 05:56 PM
Maybe I approached this from the wrong direction, it may affect some of the customers I have but not all of them. But two of the main concerns I have is (1) do I want to spend money with a business (lesco) that has seen fit to supply HD and with that decision puts Lesco (in my opinion) in somewhat of a competitive position to me. I wouldn't let a competitor tag his phone number to my advertising or offer to share my fliers to save him set up costs. Might be small of me but just my opinion. (2) do we really want joe homeowner out there using chemicals that are RUP, I know everyone them will read all of the label and spread according to directions, (calibrate what) and not decide to just dump the whole 12.5k bag on their 6k yards. Maybe I just have too much time on my hands right now and this isn't really that big of a deal, but I think I'll check prices with UHS.

03-07-2003, 06:09 PM
I think we are all getting squirrelly. This weather better moderate soon or or or... I'll just have to wait until it does:dizzy: