I recently made a trip over to Home Depot to purchase some copper piping. While there, I strolled through the cavernous isles and made my way to the smoke alarms.
As another poster mentioned a few months ago, Kidde products have better product placement on the shales. Incidentally, Kidde products also have better packaging. That being said, the alarms themselves are quite equivalent in terms of style and design.
The one thing that stands out immediately is that Universal Alarms are priced 2 dollars under Kidde alarms. I believe the prices were 4.97 for a UUU alarm and 6.97 for a Kidde alarm of similar specs. UUU also sells value packs of 6 alarms for under 25 dollars. All UUU alarms come in a very basic packaging model, but obviously this is cutting costs and most contractors and do-it-yourselfers simply want to get the job done the cheapest way possible if product reliability does not vary.
The one question I have for UUU management is why they have to lower their price point below 5 bucks an alarm? They are the cheapest product on the market anyway you look at it.
Wal*Mart management prides itself on attractive price points which draw customers into the store by offering one or two VERY low cost products while other products are priced similarly to other retail chains. This creates the illusion that Wal*Mart prices can't be beat.
Why is Wal*Mart allowing another major retail chain to beat them on price points? Shouldn't Universal Security products naturally be in Wal*Marts as they have brought the price of a compliant smoke alarm below 5 bucks?
-Also, why hasn't Universal incorporated other product offerings at HD? Are GFCI units and Co2 Units next?
It may be that to get into Home Depot, UUU had to agree to an exclusive for some period of time. I'm just guessing, but it was a new sales channel for UUU. If anybody ever goes to a Lowe's (I have none near me) it would be good to hear what the smoke alarm situation is there re manufacturers and pricing. Absent an exclusive, Lowe's would be the natural for the next chain.