Linens ‘N Things for Home Improvement Supplies

Most homeowners love decorating and they find means to constantly improve their outdoor and interior. People are ready to spend money on home improvement projects and they rely on home improvement stores for supplies. A brand name that can come into mind would be the rival of Bed Bath and Beyond: Linens ‘n Things.

Linens ‘n Things is one of North America’s leading large format specialty retailers for home textiles, house wares and other decorative accessories. In the year of 2005, they have grown to an astounding number of 500 stores in the 47 states and six Canadian provinces and was acquired in November of same year by Apollo Management, L.P.

The goal of the company is to offer a broad selection of high quality brand name home furnishings at reasonable value while providing excellent customer service in a low operating cost. Their store is supported by a website that provides visitors a list of catalog. Guests can simply buy online on their website in the comfort of their offices or homes. The company fondly refers to their customers as “guests”.

The store offers a wide array of selection of products. It’s a good thing that they created a superstore format making inventory visible and accessible and ready for immediate purchase. The superstores are the representation of Linens ‘n Things desire to attend to their guests who are pressed up for time. The company also makes sure that they provide quality customer service by hiring competitive individuals. They keep employees motivated by giving them competitive wages, training and personnel development. After recognizing the increasing number of people who buy home decor, they started targeting their product selection to keep up with the trend.

The extensive merchandise of the store includes different styles, colors, and designs within the company’s six major product lines. Although linens are not included in discounting, the company holds two clearance sale events annually.

The Best Home Improvement Stores

When you plan to carry out renovations around your house the biggest question that arises is the quality of hardware that you intend using in the project. The dilemma that most of the people face at the end of entire home improvement exercise is better and cheaper hardware available just a block further from where you did all your purchases.

This really breaks the heart. Whatever time, effort and money that you have already spent in making your home a better place to live seems like something which still needs further improvement, and the entire credit goes to your lack of proper research before you conducted your mission.

The best way to go about this is to organize a bit before you start your project.

1. To begin with, first decide what you have to do and how much you can spend on it.

2. Secondly, remain flexible on the quality and design of the hardware that you intend replacing or constructing. Look around and ask people regarding different qualities and designs.

3. Find out which is the most popular and which is the cheapest. In most of the cases they will be the same. Then also look at eh best and the most expensive model or design. This may be expensive in the store that you are visiting but chances are that you might find it at an affordable price somewhere else.

4. When you have found out the market prices of your required items go to the world’s best and the biggest home improvement stores which are located inside your own living room. This is the internet.

5. Surf around with the specifications and the brand names that you had liked and find the best and the most expensive ones available at the throw away price. This bargain price probably will not be available at the store near your town, but will get it delivered to your doorstep faster than you can imagine.

So never forget that the best home improvement stores are located right in your living room.

Big Box Home Improvement Store Scorecard

A comprehensive study of 2000 consumers who shopped and made purchases from Home Depot, Lowes and Menards Big Box stores in 2006 has just been completed by Minneapolis, Minnesota based building materials research firm Market Resource Associates, Inc. (MRA)

Consumer respondents had to shop in at least 2 of the chains to qualify for participation and were not paid anything for their cooperation. The out-bound telephone protocol was administered to 56 markets within the 48 contiguous United States between July and October of 2006. The markets and resulting quotas were selected based upon housing activity in 2005. Further, the results of this latest study were compared to results from the same study undertaken two years ago.

In the 122 page comprehensive report, the 3 competitors are rated on 29 different product categories to determine which types of consumers shop for which types of materials at which chains. The 3 chains are also rated against 11 very specific attitudinal criteria. These criteria include but are not limited to:

,,« The store is the absolute best value for my money

,,« The store is the place I get the most useful help when I need it

,,« The store values me as a customer

Also studied was¡K which chains do consumers enter and in which do they actually purchase? In this regard, Home Depot has slipped; Lowes and Menards have improved over the previous study. In fact, Menards is the highest rated chain for the entered / actually purchased category. When consumers go to Menards, they know and find what they want. Slippage can be caused by consumers not finding the items they were looking for, as well as not being able to find assistance from store associates, among other reasons.

As lumber and related items tend to define the Big Box home improvement chain, a loss was noted at all chains in the number of lumber purchasers from the 2004 to the 2006 studies. Home Depot had the largest decline, followed by Menards and then Lowes.

In another category noted for larger projects ¡V rough electrical ¡V Home Depot lost over 40% of its previous purchasers, to Lowes losing 23% and Menards experiencing no change.

One must ask if consumers are becoming less involved in larger projects where these two product types would play a heavy role, or are they seeking other venues for their purchasing? Generally, as the housing market declines, which is true of many areas studied, larger Do-It-Yourself projects flourish as homeowners tend to add on or fix up their existing homes. This is not seen as the case from the data presented.