Floor War: Retail giant versus local store
Gene Hardy has wood flooring in his store. So does The Home Depot.
Hardy sells carpet. Home Depot does too.
But Hardy, who owns Gene Hardy Flooring, never expected to see his name posted on a sign comparing prices inside a Home Depot in Taunton.
In a photo obtained by NBC 10, the sign shows Home Depot crushing Hardy's price by more than $1,300.
"I don't think it was apples to apples. It looks like I'm charging more, but I'm actually not because they're comparing it to something entirely different," Hardy said.
Hardy recognized the estimate and said he soon discovered it was bogus from the beginning.
"They send a manager in here, like undercover, which to me is wrong. I thought it was wrong. The manager of the flooring department was this customer. So I said, 'This is kind of odd. Why would Home Depot, such a large company, come after somebody so small? I'm just a family owned and operated business,'" he said.
NBC 10 contacted a Home Depot representative on the phone, who told us it's not uncommon for the store to use competitor's prices. But he said the use of the sign is a bit unusual.
"Although we're very proud of the pricing and value we offer customers, the store recently removed the signage after hearing about the concerns. Our intent was to offer a fair comparison, but we're certainly sorry if it offended our competitor or anyone else," Stephen Holmes, a senior manager of corporate communications at The Home Depot wrote in an e-mailed statement.
"I have no idea how long the signs been up. I don't know how much it's hurt my business. It just wasn't right," said Hardy, who was looking for a written apology.