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For years, there have been countless complaints about home improvement retail chains from professionals throughout multiple industries. With only a few big corporate names accounting for nearly half of all hardware and building supply sales nationally, retail stores have been continually seeking new avenues for profit over the past decade. Essentially, independent trades and family businesses have continued to be squeezed by larger stores and their aggressive expansion into contracting services.
Originally, large chain hardware stores began to expand services by subcontracting the work to other firms. This included some local and independent remodelers. These days, they continue to bring more and more of the business in-house. Businesses like Home Depot and Lowe’s have the advantage of extrapolated advertising budgets, widespread exposure and an overall perception of the lowest prices. Furthermore, they have a built-in advantage, given the number of stores. Customers that move to an entirely new town understand that these retailers offer complete packaging options for home improvement. These places offer people the option of purchasing materials and coordinating home services, simultaneously.
Unfortunately for the consumer, these options cause them to unknowingly pay a significant premium. This is usually when the packaging is most effective, as some customers cite convenience as a reason to forego seeking bids from other painters or remodelers. Additionally some big retail chains also benefit from financing. Customers are frequently presented with diverse discounts and payment. In the past, competitive plans have offered customers no interest and no payments for six months to a year. While some locally owned companies (including Matthews Painting) offer payment plans, many have struggled to compete with deals of this kind.
Larger home improvement stores have significantly impacted multiple industries in a way that often leads to businesses passionately protesting and denouncing the services. While the price and welfare of the local businesses is important, the retail “one-stop” approach has greater chances of leading to an unsatisfied customer.
Household projects require customers inviting people into their homes. Utilizing local businesses perpetuates some of the basic and most valued expectations associated with a service: trust, consistency and relationships. A small amount of research can reveal the amount of experience a business has in the industry and the code of ethics they follow. This type of knowledge builds upon trust and promotes open communication, resulting in the best finished product.
These details offer peace of mind to the consumer and maintain a standard of quality and integrity in the work itself. Satisfied customers, good relationships, recommendations and referrals are the most rewarding parts of having a business.