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Lesco Coming to Home Depot??

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by JJOHN22042, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. JJOHN22042

    JJOHN22042 LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Posts: 159

    – 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
  2. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,476

    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?

  3. 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
  4. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 424

    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:
  5. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 472

    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.

  6. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,476

    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.

  7. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 424


    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.
  8. 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.
  9. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,476


    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.

  10. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    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.


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