I love the other discussion, but in reading some of the latest stories I remembered a hardware store here where I love shopping.
Home Improvement Center, a single local store, carries all kinds of home items from plastic storage bins to bathroom supplies to everything for gardens to lumber to paint to nails and screws. They always have a lot of employees working so you never need to look around yet you are never hassled. Their customer service counter is always open with a helpful employee at it. You go in and ask and the person leads you right to the correct area, and stays to help you find exactly what you want. Last week, I decided to get some picture hangers. The gentleman helping me looked to be in his late seventies/early eighties and seemed to enjoy his job very much. He was also extremely knowledgeable. He showed me the various types, listened to and answered my questions, and didn't push anything. A truly amazing and wonderful man!
I have never considered going to one of the big chain stores for anything because this store is so excellent. And from the number of people in the store regardless of the day or time I go I think a lot of our community loves it too.
HIC, I love you! May you always have the crowds of locals I invariably find there.