[Tagging] Do-it-yourself versus hardware stores

John Willis johnw at mac.com
Wed Feb 10 13:33:59 UTC 2016


> On Feb 9, 2016, at 12:33 PM, Dave Swarthout <daveswarthout at gmail.com> wrote:
> AFAIK, Ace Hardware stores do not carry a wide enough assortment of items to qualify. Lowes and Home Depot do.


A hardware store sells tools and consumables (screws, glue, paint, etc) as the main focus of the store. 

A DIY store sells you the thing - or the materials to make the thing, and the consumables and the tools. 

A hardware store sells a power saw, the blades, screws and sandpaper. 

A DIY store sells you the 200 pieces of lumber, concrete, and buckets of sealant to make a deck. 

In Japan, the big chain "Home Depots" - Joyful Honda - have DIY put on the side of the buildings. Smaller shops dedicated to tools - the proverbial hardware shops - sell hand and power tools, specialty consumables (tapes, screws, bolts, etc) and other small, pricey supplies a person needs. They sell the tools to install a toilet - washers and gaskets to fix a toilet - but not the actual toilets, Sheetrock, lumber, tile, and piping to actually make a bathroom. 

I visit both, both in the US and Japan. 

The supermarket vs convenience store comparison is not comparable - it is about tools and consumables to make the food, not the food itself. 

A convenience store sells finished food. A super market sells finished food and ingredients. 

To compare hardware vs DIY stores:  

A "hardware" store sells stoves, pans and knives and spices, and some wax paper and whatnot. 

A "DIY store" sells the stoves, the pans, the spices - and 10 lb bags of sugar, and 30kg of rice, and 5 gallon buckets of tomato paste. 

As long as we can map the *focus* of the store, this should be an easy distinction to make.  But it might entail mapping a bunch of "home stores" as DIY. 

This will also limit hardware stores, but his is correct - as "hardware" and "tools" are usually just sections in a DIY store and all the hardware chain shops closed. 


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