Home Depot’s shareholder’s meeting was filled with investors requesting that the big orange home improvement giant improve its notoriously crappy customer service. Suggestions included improving employee pay to lure back quality workers who defected to Lowe’s, and hiring more “aprons.”
At the company’s annual meeting in Atlanta, investors complained that efforts to improve the shopping environment have not fully trickled down to all stores. Finding goods on the shelf and helpful workers who make eye contact with customers is difficult, they said.
“I want you to know how badly we need more aprons on the floor,” said Gary Patton, a 16-year Home Depot employee from South Carolina. “I just long for the days back in the beginning when we were the destination store. Now we’re just one of the other stores.”
Shareholder Ken Kaplan said he hoped a move to boost the bottom line would not keep the retailer from spending money to attract knowledgeable workers.
“Pay what it takes to get the ones who defected, the good ones, back from (rival) Lowe’s.
In the past year, Home Depot’s stock has fallen about 30%.