Depot’s turn to win 4×4 ruling
Even though a 4×4 doesn’t measure exactly 4 inches, not many customers are confused by the labeling of dimensional lumber in Home Depot, said U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman. With that, the judge dismissed the case – Abramov vs. Home Depot.
That’s the same Mikhail Abramov who brought a similar deceptive-advertising case against Menards in September. That case brought a similar result in favor of the retailer.
Home Depot successfully argued that a ruling for Abramov would “ignore nearly a century of standardization and disturb an entire industry’s reliance on these lumber names.”
The judge added that a 4×4 label did not include a unit of measure, and was therefore not explicitly incorrect.
Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes told HBSDealer the company was pleased with the resolution of the case.
Among Abramov’s complaints were that the “Defendant regularly advertises for sale dimensional lumber products through instore shelf tags and signage, labels, and flyers, which contain inaccurate and false product dimensions that do not correspond to the actual dimensions of the products being advertised.” In other words, a 2×4 doesn’t measure 2×4.
The judge said very few consumers might have been confused by the disparity.
In the Menards case, Judge Edmond Chang seemed even less willing to buy the plaintiff’s argument. “No reasonable consumer would think that the labels showed the exact dimensions of the lumber,” he ruled at the time.
It is interesting that Lowe's was forced to pay a $1.6 million settlement in the state of California for a similar incident on 2X4 lumber in 2014.
REPORT: Sawyer’s joins Ace co-op
Sawyer’s, a family-owned hardware store business, has seen the ups and downs of the industry through four generations.
A business that has burned down, been rebuilt and moved twice during its 78-year history has now made the switch from True Value to Ace Hardware. During its history the business also transformed from a grocery store to a variety store before becoming a hardware store and rental provider.
As an example of its diversity, the company operates a Hallmark Gold Crown store within the hardware store.
Read more about Sawyer’s transition in the Dalles Chronicle.
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Virtual Tour for a Digital Age
Retail websites often strive to recreate the look and feel of their brick-and-mortar location. McDaniels Do it Center in Snohomish, Wash., goes several steps further — offering a virtual tour of the entire store.
The tour is possible through a technology from a New York-based vendor called Instant 360, which promotes a “Google Street view inside your business.” McDaniel’s hardware owner Brad McDaniel said the feature – planted front-and-center on the McDaniel’s Do it center website – helps show off the store and gives the customer a sense of the breadth of offering. And while it might not be the best way to direct customers to specific SKUs, it does allow them to see everything in the store.
“People can see that, yes, we have sporting goods, or, yes, we have a lawn and garden offering,” McDaniel told HBSDealer. “Plus, it’s a fun thing to have on our website.”
[Take the tour here]
According to stats on the Instant 360 website, two out of three consumers want more virtual tours. And additionally, virtual tours help double interest in business listings, with particular impact among 18 to 34 year olds.
For a web site enhancement project, the Instant 360 solution was relatively inexpensive, McDaniel said — under $1,000. All it took was a specialized camera/machine to spend a day rolling slowly through the aisles to capture the visuals.
“You’ve got to try new things all the time, and keep trying them,” McDaniel said. “People are using their smart phones all the time, and these digital tools to reach them are increasingly important.”
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