We compared what it was like to shop at Home Depot in the city and in the suburbs - and the winner was clear

home depot 2046Business Insider/Jessica TylerBoth Home Depot stores we visited had the essentials, but one carried a lot more than the other.

  • Home Depot is one of the biggest stores for all things home improvement.
  • Home Depot reported in August that same-store sales were up 8% in its most recent fiscal quarter.
  • We compared shopping at Home Depot stores in the city and the suburbs, and it was clear which version was better.

Home Depot is one of the biggest stores for all things home improvement.

It stocks everything you might need to fix up your home, including kitchen and bath fixtures, screws and bolts, paint, and tools. It also offers services like do-it-yourself tips and online order pickup.

Home Depot reported in August that same-store sales were up 8% in its most recent fiscal quarter. It has 2,284 stores in North America.

The home-improvement giant also appears to be the store of choice for millennials. In a Bank of America survey of 1,000 millennials, reported by US News in May, 64% said Home Depot was their top choice for home-improvement shopping.

For city dwellers, it's convenient to have a Home Depot nearby for tools, paint, and remodeling projects. But when we compared it to a massive suburban Home Depot, we found some major advantages in making the trek to one of the bigger stores.

Here's how the two types of Home Depot stores compare:

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First we went to a suburban Home Depot in Westchester, New York.

First we went to a suburban Home Depot in Westchester, New York.

In the parking lot was a big white tent where a rug sale was going on. Hundreds of rugs were for sale.

In the parking lot was a big white tent where a rug sale was going on. Hundreds of rugs were for sale.

Outside of the store were seasonal plants and products like pumpkins and scarecrows.

Outside of the store were seasonal plants and products like pumpkins and scarecrows.

Immediately in the entryway were order pickup lockers.

Immediately in the entryway were order pickup lockers.

In the front of the store was a small display advertising free carpet installation and design consultations.

In the front of the store was a small display advertising free carpet installation and design consultations.

Also towards the front of the store were barbecues ...

Also towards the front of the store were barbecues ...

... and Christmas trees and decor.

... and Christmas trees and decor.

The aisles in the store seemed to go on forever.

The aisles in the store seemed to go on forever.

There were a few aisles of paint ...

There were a few aisles of paint ...

... a huge garden department ...

... a huge garden department ...

... and aisles of lumber stacked floor to ceiling.

... and aisles of lumber stacked floor to ceiling.

There was a cutting center for the lumber as well.

There was a cutting center for the lumber as well.

There were a lot of doors, mailboxes, porch lights, and other things that you'd need in a suburban home.

There were a lot of doors, mailboxes, porch lights, and other things that you'd need in a suburban home.

In the center of the store were appliances ...

In the center of the store were appliances ...

... and products ranging from bathroom vanities to kitchen cabinets.

... and products ranging from bathroom vanities to kitchen cabinets.

There were a ton of model kitchens and bathrooms.

There were a ton of model kitchens and bathrooms.

A fairly large consultation center was in the middle of the store.

A fairly large consultation center was in the middle of the store.

Home Depot has tons of samples of everything including flooring, carpets, and paint chips, making it easy to see how everything looks together.

Home Depot has tons of samples of everything including flooring, carpets, and paint chips, making it easy to see how everything looks together.

Next to the warehouse was a greenhouse that was a continuation of the garden section, carrying all sorts of gardening tools, fire starters, fertilizers ...

Next to the warehouse was a greenhouse that was a continuation of the garden section, carrying all sorts of gardening tools, fire starters, fertilizers ...

... plant food, lawn mowers, and more. It was almost as big as the store itself.

... plant food, lawn mowers, and more. It was almost as big as the store itself.

There were a lot of registers by the exit, along with a self-checkout.

There were a lot of registers by the exit, along with a self-checkout.

Also near the exit was a Pro Services desk that helps professionals to order materials ahead of time and save on purchases. There was also a tool-rental system.

Also near the exit was a Pro Services desk that helps professionals to order materials ahead of time and save on purchases. There was also a tool-rental system.

The suburban Home Depot definitely had a warehouse feel to it, but it had everything you might need for home and garden projects.

The suburban Home Depot definitely had a warehouse feel to it, but it had everything you might need for home and garden projects.

Next, I went to a Home Depot store in New York City. Because it was in the middle of the city, it didn't have the entire outdoor section that the suburban Home Depot had.

Next, I went to a Home Depot store in New York City. Because it was in the middle of the city, it didn't have the entire outdoor section that the suburban Home Depot had.

It didn't have the same warehouse feel. Carpets were at the front of the store, but there didn't seem to be a sale going on like at the suburban store. There was definitely a lot to choose from.

It didn't have the same warehouse feel. Carpets were at the front of the store, but there didn't seem to be a sale going on like at the suburban store. There was definitely a lot to choose from.

There were also small household products at the front of the store, like smoke detectors, light bulbs, and fire extinguishers.

There were also small household products at the front of the store, like smoke detectors, light bulbs, and fire extinguishers.

It carried a lot of the same home furnishings as the other store did.

It carried a lot of the same home furnishings as the other store did.

It definitely felt more manageable to shop around, but the variety of what it carried was noticeably smaller.

It definitely felt more manageable to shop around, but the variety of what it carried was noticeably smaller.

For example, it had a fraction of what the suburban store had in outdoor lighting, mailboxes, front doors, and other things that you're more likely to buy for a house than an apartment.

For example, it had a fraction of what the suburban store had in outdoor lighting, mailboxes, front doors, and other things that you're more likely to buy for a house than an apartment.

The aisles were a lot more narrow.

The aisles were a lot more narrow.

Upstairs were model kitchens and bathrooms ...

Upstairs were model kitchens and bathrooms ...

... and appliances like washing machines and dishwashers.

... and appliances like washing machines and dishwashers.

The design consultation center was also upstairs.

The design consultation center was also upstairs.

There was a sign advertising same-day delivery in Manhattan for $21. I did not see a similar sign in the Westchester store, but Home Depot offers same-day delivery from most of its stores.

There was a sign advertising same-day delivery in Manhattan for $21. I did not see a similar sign in the Westchester store, but Home Depot offers same-day delivery from most of its stores.

Source: Home Depot

There was a garden section downstairs, though it was more focused on house plants suited for apartments rather than lawn and garden care.

There was a garden section downstairs, though it was more focused on house plants suited for apartments rather than lawn and garden care.

There were also Christmas trees and other seasonal decor downstairs.

There were also Christmas trees and other seasonal decor downstairs.

There were a few aisles of paint downstairs ...

There were a few aisles of paint downstairs ...

... and about a quarter of the floor was dedicated to tools.

... and about a quarter of the floor was dedicated to tools.

There was a Pro Services desk at the city store ...

There was a Pro Services desk at the city store ...

... and an order pickup station. I did not see order pickup lockers in the store.

... and an order pickup station. I did not see order pickup lockers in the store.

There were just as many registers and self-checkout kiosks as at the bigger store.

There were just as many registers and self-checkout kiosks as at the bigger store.

The stores both offered the same services, like same-day delivery, order pickup, and Pro Services perks.

The stores both offered the same services, like same-day delivery, order pickup, and Pro Services perks.

While the store in NYC had a lot of essentials, like tools, paint, and everything you'd need to remodel your apartment ...

While the store in NYC had a lot of essentials, like tools, paint, and everything you'd need to remodel your apartment ...

... the suburban store had way more to offer. It had a greater variety across the board and carried products like lumber and gardening supplies that the NYC store was lacking. It was the clear winner of the two stores.

... the suburban store had way more to offer. It had a greater variety across the board and carried products like lumber and gardening supplies that the NYC store was lacking. It was the clear winner of the two stores.
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