During yesterday’s adventures in concrete, it became apparent before we’d even gotten to the halfway mark that nine bags of concrete wouldn’t be sufficient to finish the job. Initially, we guessed three more.
As work progressed, we agreed on five and I almost prophetically said six before Lawrence held up five fingers when I asked, “How many more?”
I’d bought all of the previous bags of the Quikrete Fast Setting Concrete Mix we’d been using at Home Depot. I paid $4.37 a bag. Not wanting to make a 20-mile roundtrip, I thought I’d run up to our local Ace Hardware. (While there’s a Lowe’s being built locally, I don’t think it’s open yet.)
They had only five bags on the shelf. The stockboy was glad to go and find more for me. This meant I didn’t have to try another hardware store in town.
Imagine my surprise then when I saw that the concrete was $7.49! I’d anticipated $1 or even $2 more than the $4.37 I’d paid, but more than $3 more per bag? This isn’t competition. It’s robbery!
I guess I shouldn’t complain. Lowe’s wants $1 more per bag and, online, Ace is advertising this very same product for more than $10 a bag – almost $3 more than their in-store price and more than twice the Home Depot price. How nuts is that?
Have you ever seen such a dramatic price variation between chain hardware stores? (I’m not talking the local mom and pops. I’d have expected that there, too.) I like to shop locally not only for the convenience but also to support our local businesses. I briefly rethought that yesterday.
I think they’re going to have to learn to compete much better and fast. That Lowe’s opening is just around the corner – and it’s little more than a mile away.