Friday, July 9, 2010

Chuck's Letter to Lowe's

When I signed the girls up for the Lowe's Build and Grow project for tomorrow, there was a short survey. The last question was: What is ONE thing Lowe's could do to make the Build and Grow clinic experience better for you and your child?

Chuck took over the computer when I asked what I should include. This was his response:

We love the Build & Grow Clinics! My father is a general contractor, and when I was a kid, he always shopped at Home Depot, so I always thought I would be a Home Depot man. When I got married, my wife heard about the B&G clinics and we went to one. Since then, I have divorced Home Depot and married Lowe's! The B&G clinics are why I don't even look at the Home Depot advertisements in the paper. (Yes, they do a clinic too, but only once a month!)

We have now completed nearly 2 dozen B&G clinics at 4 different stores. I have even learned how to use a sewing machine because my wife waits too long to sew the badges onto my daughter's aprons (and my Lowe's baseball cap for me... yes, that's right, the dad's want our stinkin' badges too!)

The B&G clinics are the sole reason that I have become a die hard Lowe's fan. The B&G clinics are why I chose Jimmie Johnson as my favorite NASCAR driver. The B&G clinics have given me great daddy-daughter times with my girls. The B&G clinics have made my daughters love working with their hands and building stuff themselves rather than just buying toys.

REGARDING PROJECTS: I am the father of three daughters, so you would think their favorites would be the necklace holder or something really girly. Nope! My girly girls love to do the fun boats, cars, and helicopters that they can play with. They do use the necklace holder they built and love to show it to people, but they didn't mention it when I asked them what their favorites were. I will say, though, that they really don't like the "game" style projects, such as the baseball game, or basketball game. That type of game stays fun for only a short period of time. But the love the "vehicle" type - cars, helicopter, boats, etc.

REGARDING LOCATION IN THE STORE: We much prefer when they are done in the store's training room rather than out in the middle of the store. We have seen stores that do it in the middle of the store's shopping aisles, which is okay, but not as good. One store we went to did it on wood picnic tables out in front of the store, which was absolutely nerve-wracking because of the cars nearby. It was not a safe situation, so we never returned to a B&G clinic at that store.

REGARDING WORK TABLES: Although being out front was unsafe, that store did something we really liked. The solid wood picnic stables were much easier to do the project upon than the folding tables at other stores. You need something solid for a child to hammer upon, or else the project just bounces around and the nails don't go in. At the stores with the plastic folding tables, we always end up sitting on the floor hammering on our projects.

ON TIMING: Don't change the times. Saturday mornings are great!During the week is too difficult. Sundays are church days, so don't even think about doing them on Sundays.

ON CHARGING FOR B&G: I would not support the idea of charging a fee to attend the actual B&G clinics. While I, myself, may choose to pay the small fee to attend a few, you would end up losing money from me for two reasons:
(1) Every time I go to a B&G, my loyalty to Lowe's makes me spend money. I never (NEVER!) leave the store after a B&G clinic without making a purchase. I guarantee, that you make money on me every time I attend a B&G clinic.
(2) I have told tons of friends about the cool, FREE B&G clinics. I have taken them. I have told them how the B&G clinics are the sole reason I have become a fan of Jimmie Johnson and only shop at Lowe's for my home improvement needs. If you charge, I will not be you walking and talking billboard anymore. (But I will probably still shop there, just not as loyally.)

ON HOW YOU CAN MAKE MONEY OFF OF THE B&G: Sell the kid-sized hammers right there at the B&G. Roll in a moving display case with the hammers and other kid-friendly tools. I would buy them all up! But I wouldn't necessarily chase around the store to find them. I think the idea of selling past B&G projects as kits is a GREAT idea! I have missed clinics due to vacation or other conflicts and always feel bummed out to have missed good ones. I would buy the old projects, so long as they were about $5. BUT!!!! Just because I support allowing me to purchase the PAST project kits, I would not support charging me to attend the WEEKLY clinics. The current project of the day, should be free on Saturday morning to those that attend. But, if you miss it, you can buy it for $4.99.

Ideally, the Build & Grow clinics would take place inside the store, someplace away from the aisles, but with solid firm tables to hammer upon. Ideally, I would have the opportunity to buy the old kits for $3-$5. Finally... Ideally, Jimmie Johnson would be in attendance at every clinic I attended!

Keep up the good work Lowe's (or as my daughters call the store --- Jimmie's House!)
Just gotta love my husband and his gift of gab.


  1. So cute!!! We totally need to go with the kids!

  2. Ok... yes, I am totally behind on my blog stalking... but how great was this DARLING post that I almost missed because it was from so long ago!

    I love you little brother! What a great letter.