Git Awfa Mah Prawpity Nayah!

The ramblings of a jaded redneck, hiding out in the Canadian music business.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mom and Pop Hardware Stores

Even in our suburban Toronto town, we have one of those funky old hardware stores with the door with a bell on the back, creaky old worn down hardwood floors, and merchandise piled up here there, and everywhere.

The odd-couple that run the place are perfect. He's a cranky ol' dude who doesn't talk much, but fights it down in order to be some sort of salesman. She's missing at least a half dozen teeth, and is about as quirky as they come. Both of them know exactly where everything is. When we first moved to this town, I made the mistake of responding "just looking". Awkward... Silence... Watching my every movement...

See, you just don't "look around" in their store. You come in, you tell them what you need, and they find it. They always do. They are hardware store lifers. They are exactly the kind of person you wish you could find when you're wandering aimlessly through the isles at Home Depot trying to find something. When you ask for help at a Big-Box store, you're going to get the pimply 20-something college kid who's taking a year off. He's never been on a job-site in his life, and he's never used a compound mitre saw.

See, the whole point of a big-box store is to move consumer goods through at just above their cost, in order to create opportunities for financing, extended warrenties, etc. With the clout of a massive retail chain, they beat up their suppliers for the absolutely rock bottom pricing, and then they want 90 days to pay. They have their supply-chain management totally. They've already sent out the flyers before the goods show up at the stores. They move the products in 30 days time, and still have 60 days to play with the money on the stock market.

So how can Mom and Pop compete with this? They're not even in the same business. I know I'm paying more when I buy a wheelbarrow or a saw from them, but I want them to stick around! If you vote with your dollar, then go and vote at your local Mom and Pop hardware store. Don't vote for Big-Money, vote for your way of life.

Now git awfa mah prawpity nayah!


Blogger CindyDianne said...

Oh, this is a soap box I've been avoiding discussing on my blog Jethro! Thanks for doing it for me!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

Y'know it just occurred to me that maybe they were watching your every comment because they thought were a biker or something!



2:54 PM  
Blogger Biddie said...

I kinda miss our small town hardware store with Lucy B working behind the counter.
I'm surprised that you didn't rant about the evil Visa corporation, tho....

3:44 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

Give him time...

4:01 PM  
Blogger dilling said...

Get fresh with a family farmer....

8:51 PM  
Blogger The Adult in Question said...

I too am waiting for the Visa Rant.

10:07 PM  
Blogger The Adult in Question said...

P.S. Big Box stores give people like me minimum wage jobs. (Okay my grocery store isn't a big box store) Also, I know what a compound mitre saw is and I have used one...twice!

10:12 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Right now, I have a slightly larger version of that sort of hardware store as a client.

I met with the manager on the floor of the place, and we were interrupted every seven minutes by customers with various widgets and doo-dads in their hands. The manager would glance at it, walk down an aisle filled with widgets and doo-dads that were ever-so-minutely different from each other, and pull the exact right piece to fix/replace the one the client had. In about twenty seconds.

I wanted to make a commercial for them enhancing just this aspect of their business.

They want to spoof local car commercials.

I now just want to dope-slap them.


11:29 PM  
Blogger cara winsor hehir said...

the mom and pop shop on our street sells a lot of fell-of-the-big-box-store-truck items.
you can get a can of marked down right guard and 2 for 1 candy bars on the same shelf.
and if they don't got it for you, check back in a week.
now that's service!

7:29 AM  
Blogger coffeypot said...

I’ma just gonna stick my big toe on ya prawpity to say that I agree with you. I admire the gumption of the mom and pop people trying to make it work among all the giants – and a lot of time making it work.

Now put ya shotgun down. I’m aleavin.

3:44 PM  
Blogger dilling said...

someday you will come back to your blog and find this comment!
Congratulations on your Juno! You rock! CONGRATULATIONS, MAN!!!!!!!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Jethro said...

You know... This blog has been a bit neglected lateley, what with all the excitement...

Damn, they got me with the Blogger-Google upgrade thing.

I must say, we bought what turned out to be my lucky dress shirt at a small family-owned menswear shop in Saskatoon.

See? You vote with your dollar...

11:29 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Don't know if you read this anymore, or if you get an email ping when someone comments, but I just wanted to congratulate you on your Juno. From everything Heidi has written about you, it sounds like it was well-deserved.

All the best to you!


10:15 PM  

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