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Why Buying Local is Better Than Buying Big Box


Certainly, the buying power of big box stores outweighs that of most electrical distributors, including McNaughton-McKay. With their national stock agreements that allow them to buy in bulk from manufacturers, they get the edge on pricing which is sometimes transferred to you. But, is the price the only thing that matters, and does it make big box stores better? For many reasons, the answer is a resounding, no.

The customer service you receive from electrical distributors is far superior to big box stores. Electrical distributors, and specifically McNaughton-McKay, live and breathe electrical products day in and day out. We make it our business to know everything we can about the products we sell so we can make suggestions and help you with every situation you encounter on the job site.

When considering if you should buy from McNaughton-McKay or a big box store, here are some considerations.

Product Offerings
Most of what is carried at big box stores doesn’t work for commercial use. For example, the big boxes tend to cater to residential and DIY. They tend not to carry EMT that is over 2” unless you are ordering online and can wait for delivery. Most items are on the shelf at big box stores, so there’s a greater possibility of box quantities being short because of theft leaving you stuck when you get to the job site. That doesn’t happen at an electrical distributor. When it comes to wire, they do have a good selection and sometimes better pricing, but do you have time to make two stops when you can get everything you need from one of our counters? The time you spend driving from the big box store to McNaughton-McKay costs you more money than you save. These are just basic items that we are talking about, but if you need more technical products like relays or contactors, the employees at a big box probably will have no clue what you are talking about.

What if you are working on a big job that requires a quote on switchgear, lighting or distribution panels? Is a big box going to be able to help you? At McNaughton-McKay we can help you review blueprints, lighting layouts and panel configuration to name a few. We can also set up on-time deliveries for your material and do all your wire cuts.

Customer Service
How many times have you approached a salesperson at a big box store to ask for help finding something, and they go to the same area you were already in to look too? Maybe they look on their device to check stock. Or you get the answer that if you don’t see it, we don’t have it. What if you ask them a more technical question and give them a part number and get a blank stare? At an electrical distributor like McNaughton-McKay, we work with electricians, contractors and maintenance personnel daily and know our inventory. We understand what cable and boxes you need to purchase based on the specifications of your project. At an electrical distributor, you can be confident that you are dealing with trained professionals.

There’s also the personal touch that comes from doing business with McNaughton-McKay like getting the salesperson's direct dial number, email address, and in many cases their cell phone. You have instant access to knowledgeable product people who care about your success.

So, if you are shopping for commercial or industrial components, lighting solutions, building automation, project management, and the like, electrical distributors are the way to go. You can rely on McNaughton-McKay to always put our best foot forward and treat you with the respect you deserve. Your business is important to us, and we are never looking to just serve the next person in line.