Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Andersons

Giant Eagle wasn't the only strange and new place we went shopping during our trip to Toledo a couple of weekends ago. We also went to this place called "The Andersons".

I had never heard of it before - they have six locations, all in Ohio. Amber had a hard time describing to me exactly what kind of store it is. And after visiting the store, I'm still not sure how I would describe it.

That's the produce section...right next to the washing machines. Huh? Who, exactly, goes to buy fruit and appliances in one trip? Then, on the other side of the washer and dryer section...

Beer and laundry? The possibilities are endless.

So, yeah, that was interesting. Anyway, here's my take on "The Andersons." The store is actually a hardware store at heart. It's nowhere as big as a Lowe's or Home Depot, but it has the same kinds of stuff. But here's the problem with being a smaller-scale Lowe's or Home Depot: for the most part, people are just going to go straight to Lowe's or Home Depot. The bigger stores have better selection, and most of the time, better prices. Smaller hardware stores have had a really difficult time competing with the "big two" over the last couple of decades - case in point, Scotty's* - and I'm sure the same would be true for "The Andersons"...except that they also have a medium-sized food section (more than a non-Supercenter Walmart or Target but not as extensive as a regular grocery store), fresh produce, and even a pet shop. Take that, Lowe's!

Actually, the thing that impressed me the most about "The Andersons" was that they had NO-AD brand sunscreen. I cannot find this stuff anywhere. Way to go, The Andersons!

And yes, those are beds and recliners in the background. What can't you get here?

The Andersons appears to do a pretty good business. The store was quite packed when we were there, especially the produce section. So, I think the moral of the story is that if you're a hardware store, and you're not as big as Lowe's or Home Depot (or I guess Menards, which I've never been to), then you had better branch out a little.

(* - I'll always remember Scotty's for their radio jingle: "Gotta go to Scotty's 'cause Scotty's got a lot of what you gotta go to Scotty's for!")

1 comment:

James Allen said...

That is one weird store. And yet strangely compelling.