Hardware stores are one of the few stores guys like going to, so if you're single it might be worth changing your shopping habits. You could pick a few home projects or visit your local hardware stores for ideas, materials and advice from the guys. Okay, I have to admit I got this idea from a friend and fellow handywoman, Marie Leonard.
Marie wrote an article about taking her dog shopping. She likes going to her “… local lumber yard which is a lot smaller than Lowe’s and provides an opportunity to hang out and talk with the other guys standing in line”. Even better, I love her suggestion that if you're a woman “… who is normally uncomfortable at a lumber yard, bring your dog. ”
Hardware Stores – Who's Shopping for What?
As I'm launching the Savvy Homeowner Club in the fall, I decided it was time to go out and explore what women are shopping for. While I try to support my local hardware stores (love the folks at Ricci Lumber in Portsmouth, NH), Lowe's was on my way to a networking meeting. I learned that stores have peak hours and 4pm on a weekday isn't one of them. I you want more guys in addition to supplies, you'll want to visit your local hardware stores early in the morning (picking up supplies on their way to the job site) or evenings (getting what's needed tomorrow).
My focus was on women shopping by themselves, and then I simply tried to count the number of people shopping – guys, couples and single women. This turned into a fascinating exercise which I hope to repeat on a regular basis to learn which projects women are comfortable tackling themselves.
|What Are People Buying at Hardware Stores (or Big Box Stores)?
|Guys shopping by themselves
|No surprise that I saw 28 guys, most running in to grab a few items. They typically know where to go, which amazed me when I started my handyman business. Then I learned what aisles to visit at the hardware stores, just like knowing where the milk is at your grocery store.
|Couples shopping together
|There were 4 couples shopping together. They were looking for – stoves, tile for a combination bathroom/laundry room, flexible lighting cords and paint. One couple was renovating an apartment building and we discussed the best caulk to buy, to Do Home Repairs Right, or Do Them Again!
|Women shopping alone
14 women shopping alone, a good ratio compared to the guys as many of them were “shopping on the job”. Here's what I learned from the women I was able to talk to: