There is a big sign in our office with a picture of my dad. It says, in part, “We believe in offering products made in the United States wherever possible. When we offer imported items, we choose the best quality we can find.”
This is not just something we say to sound good. We spend time every day, sometimes hours every day, hunting down USA-made products.
I will make this claim and stand by it with confidence: We have more USA product in our store by any measure (percentage of units, percentage of dollars sold, percentage of inventory value) than any other hardware store you will visit.
But, now I’m worried that the words “USA-MADE” might be disappearing! Here’s the problem: Whole segments of American industry have been decimated by Chinese competition.
If we decided to sell only American-made products and dropped the imported stuff, it would mean dropping many, many items that people expect us to carry. In fact, they rely on us because they can’t find them or a reasonable substitute at any other store.
Another problem is the price. Let’s face it, if it’s made in America, it probably costs more. Do you care if it’s USA-made? USA merchandise is often – but not always! – higher quality. Would you still choose USA-made if you thought the imported one was better quality? Would you pay more to get something that is USA-made?
We care what you think, because we have a simple goal: If we know of an American-made option for any product we carry, we will get it in stock. But, we’re only going pursue that goal if our customers care about USA products.
And, for us to pursue it successfully, I not only need you to care about it. I need your help!
First, please let me know if you care about USA made items by commenting here or on my Facebook page.
Second, let us know about any quality USA-made products you find that you think we should carry. If we choose your product to feature in our catalog, website or store, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a gift card! (Click here to learn more about how that works.)
Editor’s Note: Updated July 2018.