As a result, each brand wants to draw the customers more towards their own products and away from their competitor.
In the past Lowe’s has concentrated on providing a better range of products for customers, and on improving customer service so that shopping is a pleasant experience. This matches the preferences of women and the do-it-yourself customers who want to have some choice in their purchases and who take their time to review all the products. The larger stores that Lowe’s tends to have are expensive to run, however, and so their latest plans include a drive to increase efficiency in those stores, so that there is a better return on this investment in space.
Home Depot, on the other hand, caters more for serious professionals and so it has concentrated on providing a large number of stores in convenient locations. This is geared to contractors who want reliable availability of known products in the immediate vicinity. Home Depot has paid less attention in the past to the shopping experience and there has been a tendency to cram a lot of products into crowded spaces. This may be changing as competition gets tougher. Each company appears therefore to be analyzing the strengths of the other, and aiming to catch up in these specific areas with their major competitor.
It is difficult to judge which company has the better competitive image. In terms of customer preference, it appears that Lowe’s has the better image, because 53% of customers stated a preference for Lowe’s against only 46% for Home Depot. Given that Lowe’s has considerably fewer stores than Home Depot, this is an indicator that they have done a better job in making their brand known to the public and attracting customers to come into their stores. On the other hand, customers spend less at Lowe’s on each shopping trip that they make.
Home Depot achieves higher sales figures, which proves in concrete terms that customers rate them highly. On balance, then, it appears that