Thread Number: 71236  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Are self checkout lanes rare?
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Post# 942803   6/10/2017 at 00:31 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I was wondering about this. I know some stores are against them.

Out of the stores here the only ones I can think of that have them are Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot. The big box stores.

I do recall Kmart having them for a short time way before anyone else did (early 2000s).

Not sure when Walmart installed them as I only recall them in the last 5 years or so. The issue with Walmart self checkout is there is still a line to use the self checkouts as they are all placed around a confined area and you have to wait to use the next available one. Never understood why Walmart will put in 20 manned lanes and only use a small fraction of them.

The only other store I've seen them lately was a newly remodeled Winn Dixie in another town. Surprised Publix didn't put them in their new stores here, but maybe they don't like them.

Post# 942807 , Reply# 1   6/10/2017 at 01:04 by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

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Self service checkouts just went into the Walmart's in this area.

The one place they have been popular though is in the grocery stores. The will have a group of them together with one clerk overseeing the terminals and have one line feeding them so the next customer takes whatever comes available first.

No matter the store if it's a 24 hr operation the self serve lanes get shut down during the late evening and overnight hours since there is usually less staff in the store and less traffic.

Post# 942838 , Reply# 2   6/10/2017 at 08:44 by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Here in Sunny SoCal . . .

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Still going strong at Home Depot and Lowe's where a dedicated helper is at the podium overseeing things and ready to assist the slightly tech-challenged.


The local Walmart Neighborhood Market has a 20-item limit on theirs and the continually distracted Customer Service person is one's only help when an item triggers an alert (they card you when you scan alcohol-containing non-beverages like Lectric-Shave and Skin Bracer).  Also, they're in a security lockdown group that shuts them all down when questionable activity like a suspect credit/debit card occurs at one.  It's a rare day when they're all working.


None of the local full-service and bag-your-own grocers have them.  The dear departed Fresh & Easy was the only grocer that was exclusively self-service at the checkout.

Post# 942840 , Reply# 3   6/10/2017 at 09:01 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

All the big box stores around Roanoke have the. So do the grocery stores.

Just more "dumbing-down" of the public.

They raise prices, lower quantities and then take away customer service.

I don't care how long I wait for a human. I never use those self-service kiosks.

Post# 942842 , Reply# 4   6/10/2017 at 09:03 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
All our grocery stores except one has them

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And they range from just barely OK (when they're running) at Walmart to brand new and still totally awful at Safeway. Worse than awful.

The ones at The Homeless Despot are constantly in a bad mood, I don't go to Lowes because of their anti-gay policies.

Menards doesn't use them and King Soopers makes you enter a PIN even for a credit card can imagine how well that goes over.

They're basically a disaster. We need more cashiers.

Post# 942844 , Reply# 5   6/10/2017 at 09:40 by angus (Fairfield, CT.)        

Here in Southern Connecticut, the only grocery store that has them is Stop & Shop. They are a real pain and end up taking more time since it seems every other person needs an attendant for help. Items don't scan properly, the bagging areas trip and stop with only a few items, but say they are "full".

Shop Rite doesn't have them and Big Y tried them for a year, then pulled them out for much the same reason...

Post# 942845 , Reply# 6   6/10/2017 at 09:43 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Actually I rather like the self check out lane myself. I use it at Sam's Club, Lowes, Walmart, Reasor's grocery store, Home Depot and anywhere else I see one. I seldom have any problems with them. I didn't know Lowes has an anti gay policy.

Post# 942848 , Reply# 7   6/10/2017 at 09:56 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Every big store has them where I live, Safeway, Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes. The very worst ones area at Target and Safeway, especially Target, they never seem to work properly. And at Safeway and Target they usually now only have one or two regular checkout counters open, they want people to do their own checkout. The best self checkout is at Walmart. Their scanners work flawlessly and I don't mind doing my own checkout it they work like they should, but if I have to wait for a clerk to fix a problem, where is the time savings? Lowe's are pretty good too. I also wasn't aware of any anti-gay ploicy at Lowe's, I'm very sorry to here about this.

I think the big retailers want to phase out clerks entirely if they can any way manage to make this happen. Make America Great Again, not so much.

This post was last edited 06/10/2017 at 11:40
Post# 942853 , Reply# 8   6/10/2017 at 11:14 by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
Simply put :

I hate them, do not use them, and yes, they are an attempt to slash staff.


Post# 942856 , Reply# 9   6/10/2017 at 11:47 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
Here on the Gulf Coast

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They're in HD, Lowe's, Target, Winn-Dixie, and are starting to appear in Neighborhood Markets (WM).  Publix does not seem in a hurry to embrace this feature and that doesn't really surprise me, as the main thing that Publix is service.



Post# 942859 , Reply# 10   6/10/2017 at 12:18 by appnut (TX)        

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I won't use them.  Difficult for physically-challenged individuals. 

Post# 942860 , Reply# 11   6/10/2017 at 12:26 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Around here, the Kroger grocery stores have self checkout at all the stores I've been in. The last store (an aging store due for replacement) got them maybe 2 years ago. (They were obviously used, but, again, the store is slated to be replaced. The only reason they did any work on the store then was an influx of business.) Safeway/Albertsons, however, seem to have gotten away from self checkout. At least at the 2 stores I've been. (I seldom shop either.)


The library I use also has self checkout. I remember the line that it wouldn't cost jobs--they had so much work for the staff. But when a budget crisis hit, the former clerk position was totally eliminated. At the branch I used, pretty much everyone in that position decided it was time to retire. (There was talk about letting them stay as shelvers, but few wanted to do that job. Or do it again.)


I have mixed feelings about self checkout. Part of me is disturbed by the fact that it could cost jobs. But I also like the fact that in strange stores I'm not faced with a clerk dripping with fake friendliness. Plus I suppose it can save embarrassment if one were buying some embarrassing product. With self checkout, there isn't a clerk grabbing and seeing each item. Of course, whoever monitors the security cameras might see one buying that embarrassing product...

Post# 942881 , Reply# 12   6/10/2017 at 14:48 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Just off the top of one's head

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Home Depot, CVS and a few other places at least here in Manhattan, NYC have self-checkout.

Personally love the things as can be in and out rather quickly. With so many places slashing cashiers/staff anyway often you have only one or two persons working the entire store (and one of them can be a manager), so lines are often backed up quite severely.

Then you have the "how much is this?" group who query every single item in their rather large basket full of goods. Or, "is this one on sale"? Which prompts a whole back and forth as to what a circular actually states is on sale versus what the person has in hand. Then you have those who are still flummoxed by using their credit or debit cards to complete the transaction.

Many supermarkets and convenience stores here are union, thus inroads with self-checkout has been limited. But with a new mandatory $15/hr. minimum wage along with overtime, PTO and other laws that will increase employee costs, am willing to bet the scheme will expand. You are already seeing banks almost devoid of tellers and or they are rolling out all sorts of ways one can complete transactions without having to bother.

Post# 942884 , Reply# 13   6/10/2017 at 15:08 by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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FWIW, Publix expanded to Knoxville about three years ago, and all of their stores here have self-checkouts available.

Post# 942898 , Reply# 14   6/10/2017 at 16:28 by wiskybill (Canton, Ohio)        
The only way...

that I will consider using the self checkout is the day that
I get a discount for doing it all myself.


Post# 942909 , Reply# 15   6/10/2017 at 18:32 by cadman (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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What's interesting is that we got self-checkouts in this area 5 or more years ago at the big box stores, Walmart and grocery chains. I actually liked using them as they were faster than standing in line. The odd thing is that most have since been removed and replaced with (understaffed) manual checkouts.

The places I shop most anyhow never went in for them, so no huge loss I suppose.

Post# 942911 , Reply# 16   6/10/2017 at 18:43 by Xraytech (S.W. Pennsylvania, near Pittsb)        

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I do not use them, and will not use them.
My thought is at the prices I am paying I expect service from a store employee. I feel that if I check out my own order I should receive a discount.

Post# 942934 , Reply# 17   6/10/2017 at 20:11 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Self-Check, U-Scan--and ONLY S-C & U-Scan!!!!

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Simply put: No-one will be the check-out guy that I am--I only go to them myself...


I never win on telling the "real person" an "actual price" on a mis-priced item (that is made-up) and somehow the "____ sells it for $____" is eliminated, as had from "NOT needing to the ad", to "NO price-matching without"--and ME not being allowed to, though I'd been the one bending over backwards for everyone else in every case, so here is my kiss-off...



-- Dave

Post# 942965 , Reply# 18   6/10/2017 at 23:52 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

All the stores around here have them, at night they are the only lanes open.  They are the ONLY checkout I will use, hate dealing with   cashiers, many are too slow.  I want to get out as fast as I can.  Plus, I much much prefer bagging my own stuff. I recall a few times I used a cashier and I ended up with 13 bag of groceries when I could have easily put then in 4 or 5.

Post# 942969 , Reply# 19   6/11/2017 at 01:09 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Every grocery store has them except Whole Foods, Meijer being the first in the area to have them back in 2000.

Home Depot has them but no Menards in the area has them, and neither Lowes near me has them.

Target and Wal Mart have them.

I've never seen a self checkout in a drug store.

I am seeing a lot of self order kiosks at cafes and fast casual restaurants these days. I've avoided using them successfully for quite some time now as most of these places that have them happen to be places I actually spend cash at and the stupid kiosks have no means to pay in cash. Sometimes the people working the drink counter at Whole Foods try to get me to use the kiosk and I insist I'm paying cash, their response is "you can pay at the register" followed by me saying "I'm not waiting at the register I'm in a hurry" or "I'm eating in the restaurant". Seriously if someone ever decides to make me pay at the register up front one of these days I'll just walk off without paying for my drink, possibly not intentionally.

Post# 942990 , Reply# 20   6/11/2017 at 08:26 by kimball455 (Cape May, NJ)        

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Hi ..
Locally in Cape May County Walmart and Home Depot have self checkouts. Only one ACME location has self checkout due to shoplifting at some locations.

Post# 942995 , Reply# 21   6/11/2017 at 09:13 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I didn't care for them at first but grew to.  I was really surprised when our Walmart removed them two or so years ago.  I heard it was on account of theft. 

Post# 943000 , Reply# 22   6/11/2017 at 09:44 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        
In addition to the above,

Price Chopper and Hannaford supermarkets here. Like Matt said, I prefer to bag my own and don't like waiting for the dolt at the end of the runner to hand me a bag once he's decided he has enough in his bag.


Post# 943016 , Reply# 23   6/11/2017 at 12:06 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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There are no "big-box" stores here ... Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.  The regional grocery chain doesn't have them.  WM does, which I used a few times but *always* had some issue or other.  The final straw was when I used one that would take only credit or debit card, no cash, and there was NO notification of the restriction until a little on-screen blurb at end of the transaction.  I didn't fully register the meaning upon glancing at it so I'm standing there like an idiot repeatedly putting my cash into the slot and having it repeatedly spit back out, wondering WTF is the problem, until the attendant comes over to investigate.  I shot off a gnasty email to WM.  A local manager of some level called me the next day.  All sorts of excuses why they couldn't place a large sign on the units that don't take cash so customers know in advance which to use or not.  I refuse to use the crazy things there any further.

I used one at Home Depot (in another town) several weeks ago.  Had the usual fussing from it about "unexpected item in bagging area, please remove item."  Just, no.

Post# 943022 , Reply# 24   6/11/2017 at 12:52 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Self-service checkouts

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My experience was always getting: "Unexpected item in bagging area!".

Recently my local Tesco upgraded their units, and they seem to have gone the opposite way, telling me to bag the item!

I usually pay by card, but on one recent occasion put a £10 note (GBP £10) into the machine - it was snatched from me fingers without so much as a by-your-leave! I'd swear that Ebeneezer Scrooge was in the machine.

Post# 943023 , Reply# 25   6/11/2017 at 12:54 by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

Our local Costco used to have them, but they were removed during an expansion/renovation several years ago. Customers had trouble using them (admittedly, they weren't very user friendly) and supposedly there was an increased incidence of theft (items thrown in without being scanned).

I never had issues with their self-check out lanes, and in fact used Costco more often, since to buy 3-4 items I didn't have to wait in line behind half a dozen customers with $500+ carts. I shop there far less often now. One remedy would be to implement Express lanes, like supermarkets, for patrons with only a few items.

Post# 943024 , Reply# 26   6/11/2017 at 13:23 by jmirawm (Barling Arkansas)        

I have been meaning to go to the Customer service desk and ask how to key in my employee discount at the self checkout. Because for that brief moment I am working for Wal Mart. HA

Post# 943037 , Reply# 27   6/11/2017 at 15:59 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I know Home Depot had them at least by 2006, I remember buying a baseboard and it told me to place it in the bag, finally I tapped it on the bottom of the bag and it registered. I used to get the same thing there with the unexpected item and I would take it out and it would say to please place item in bag.

The units at Lowes I notice are always out of order.

Post# 943042 , Reply# 28   6/11/2017 at 16:25 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I wish

They were outlawed!! I HATE them.

Post# 943045 , Reply# 29   6/11/2017 at 16:38 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
With the push to raise MW to $15/hr.

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Am thinking self-checkout will spread more and more. McDonald's is already introducing/expanding self ordering/checkout in the USA.

Quite honestly in many retail businesses staffing is already so low that self-checkout might be welcomed. There are times at local chain convenience stores where you have only one cashier at the registers with a line that stretches deep.

The other problem is from banks on down many places are having problems finding persons who not only possess the necessary skills (math and so forth) to be trained and work cash registers, but can also pass required background checks.

Post# 943047 , Reply# 30   6/11/2017 at 16:50 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I always use the ATM at my Credit Union.  I hate standing in line and they are quick and efficient, just as in the stores.  The ATM can do 90% of what the teller can do and quicker, so what's not to like?


I'm glad those of you who do not like self check out and ATMs do not use them.  I get a chuckle watching someone who has never used a self check out lane finding their way around.  I don't mind helping them a bit but they do tend to slow things down a lot.


Speaking of self checkout, the one thing i HATE is the voice.  I do not want to hear the price of every item, and directions, I'm glad I can shut the off.

Post# 943053 , Reply# 31   6/11/2017 at 17:09 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I do everything I can electronically and online. In the past 3 years I've only been into my Credit Union 3 times, once to access our safe deposit box and twice to have documents notorized. I deposit checks on my ipad and get e statements, rather than paper statements so I have less paper to shred down the line. When I retired 12 years ago a ordered a box of 200 checks as I was out of them. I'm on the second book of checks and have only used 5 checks for that book, so thats 30 checks written in 12 years. All the bills,including the property tax are paid online.

But I only like to use self checkout for a few items, and only in stores where the damn things work properly. And I agree with the others that have stated, there should be some sort of discount for using self checkout, because after all it is saving the retailer from having to pay a checker. And I would be perfectly OK with no self checkout at all, provided there were adequete checkers on duty all the time so I didn't have to wait for 15 mins to checkout $35.00 of groceries. And really, to protect the jobs of people that need them there should also not be self checkout. Before we know it there will be no work for human beings at all. Unions should be fighting this trend.

Post# 943054 , Reply# 32   6/11/2017 at 17:13 by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

Pulltostart, Publix is the same up here at the north end of the state. Carryout service (no tipping please!), and cashiers. Among the stores around here:

Have them: Wal-Mart, Sams (just put some in recently), Costco, Target, Home Depot, Kroger.
Don't have them: Publix, Lowe's, Fresh Market, Whole Foods.

The ones at Target are the best locally. They scan reliably, and they have the magic "I don't want to bag this item" button, that saves you from being bag-nagged. The ones at Home Depot don't bag-nag, but getting them to scan is difficult sometimes. Wal-Mart varies a lot. One store has ones that are terrible about bag-nagging; you get a constant stream of "Please bag the last item" alternating with "Unexpected item in bagging area!". Another store has ones that nearly always work perfectly.

Post# 943055 , Reply# 33   6/11/2017 at 17:18 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
Unions should be fighting this trend.

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I don't know the exact position unions have, but I do know someone who is very active with the grocery checker union (even to the level of involvement with contract negotiation) who despises those self checkouts. She always--always--uses a regular line, even though the grocery store apparently prefers the employees to use self checkout. Her husband refuses to shop at Home Depot at certain hours, since that location apparently has times when it's self checkout only.

Post# 943056 , Reply# 34   6/11/2017 at 17:21 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
i HATE is the voice

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I hate the voice, too. I suspect most people do. I've asked the clerks in charge of self checkouts how they stand it having that voice screeching away all day long. One told me he just got to the point of tuning it out.


One cashier commented about the voice, and the crankiness of the machine in general, and referred to the "princess in a box."

Post# 943202 , Reply# 35   6/12/2017 at 15:58 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
It is almost enivitable

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That as labor and other costs rise for retail, and margins get tighter something is going to have to give; and that is likely more self-service in various forms.

As it is for many even large department/retail stores you have to hunt to find an open cash register.

Recall years ago stores like Macy's would have an open cashier in almost every department. Now it is often more like one per floor. *LOL*

Supermarkets here run the gamut; some have several cashier bays but only ever two at the most are staffed. Others seem to manage staffing to coincide with peak customer demand.

Largest issue one hears from managers is finding people with the maths skills who want to do the job, and take it seriously. You cannot have a cashier whose drawer is frequently short. Nor understands how and can properly closeout/balance their drawer at end of shift.

Post# 943209 , Reply# 36   6/12/2017 at 16:45 by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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Trader Joe's is very good about keeping all their lanes open. Although they're usually very busy since they were allowed to start selling wine, there's hardly ever more than one person waiting in line.

A local supermarket nearby seems to employ mostly teenagers in the cashier positions (at least on weekends). Probably a first job for most of them, and it would be a shame if automation robbed them of the experience.

Post# 943274 , Reply# 37   6/13/2017 at 09:27 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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It's a B*#@$%! running 'em/working at 'em too!!!!

Too many people who don't know how to use 'em reason with 'em when a move IS their fault, and not in any derogatory sense... Just move the stuff into your EMPTY cart when the bagging area is FULL! (And let the machine see you move the basket in FRONT of you--not BEHIND you...)

The screen gets too BLINDING to have to go into & do the price adjustments that the custom needs to go to a real person register to go to...

The weight/bagging problem to relieve the customers from...

Last of all are the people who want to get out of using them altogether coming to my podium that has the real register used to transfer orders to that sometimes have to be paid at if there is a problem w/ cash/card functions/paying by checks or using split payment functions (though I dislike having to do WIC--and just direct customers to regular registers for that & tax-exempt, as well as (when we had that program) price matching (especially in excessive)...

Also, It doesn't help that that register doesn't have a sort of bull-pen, hence folks especially in a hurry try to do their business BESIDE me, or in FRONT of me, or go behind it, instead of in FRONT of it...

And that's not even counting the "free stuff" I'd seen/heard of people make off with when their payment in the card reader doesn't work, or just taking off when no one is looking, from one thing , to a few things, to entire orders, we can't seem to stop, when really it's "when no one's watching", while other customers (mostly those w/ "real (honest) problems" need help...

-- Dave

Post# 943278 , Reply# 38   6/13/2017 at 10:34 by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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I've used them and continue to use them, when I only have a few items. The majority of the time there isn't any wait, whereas there is a wait at the manned register lines. I rarely have any problems. Usually it takes me a couple of minutes to ring everything up and pay for it. In and out fast.

Personally, if someone is continuously having issues at these, then the best thing would be, is to not use them.

Post# 943284 , Reply# 39   6/13/2017 at 12:10 by Travis ()        

I've never had much of an issue with self-checkout lanes.  They've become more commonplace as the cost of wages has either increased or been threatened.


Home Depot rarely has more than two manned lanes open.  I try to use them, but when faced with a soccer mom with a cartload, I default to the self-checkout with my five items.


I wasn't aware that Lowes was anti-gay.  I go to Home Depot, Lowes and Menards.  Lowes is cleaner.  Home Depot is most likely to have the wrong item in a given spot.  I haven't learned where things are in Menards.  That store wears me out, too big!


I almost never go the Wal-Mart.  At night, they only have the door on one side open.  You have to go in, I had to go to the other side, all the way back, grab my items and go back.  They had 2-3 lanes open, then you had to show your receipt at the door.  It was a long walk for a tarp.


That reeks of theft control to me.  Wal-Mart is my store of last resort or if you care to see the poorest people in your area.

Post# 943288 , Reply# 40   6/13/2017 at 12:44 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Funny, but when I lived on the island of Montreal, I noticed a good number of self-checkout lanes in the newer and bigger grocery stores like IGA and Metro as well as most of the Walmarts.  Since fleeing to "moo cow country" I tend to be shopping in the same stores, more or less, but I have yet to see any self-checkout lanes.  


I'd have to guess the 'need' for self-checkouts is in part driven by store traffic.  The IGA or the Walmart in the nearest town is probably nowhere near as "busy" as one in the burbs of Montreal.   I also notice that the shoppers in this neck of the woods seem to be older than in the city (yes, I count myself as 'older' now, too...LOL)



Post# 943400 , Reply# 41   6/14/2017 at 00:57 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

No Home Depot near me now-the one here closed several years ago.No Menards in my area.Now-the only choice is TWO Lowes in Greenville!

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