Except for a handful of often overlooked mom and pop operations, the days of the local corner hardware store are virtually gone. In their place are massive corporate warehouse stores, of which there are two options. Lowes may just be the lesser of two evils when it comes to supplying home improvement needs. For convenient accessibility, there are seven Lowes stores in the Charlotte area. The selection, as anyone knows, is horrendously wide, from appliances to zinc-plated wing nuts. As for customer service, well, good luck finding that any more.