I worked at HD for awhile and they pretty much function like Loews. Forget about talking to salespeople or even managers. Find the guys/girls who do the inventory job. They usually work early AM to early afternoon. They would give you the best info. And it is slightly true about the safe on the floor, both stores are trying not to spend a lot on inventory, and tend not to order large items until they are zeroed out. Also HD individual stores for example get most of their orders directly through Atlanta. For the most part individual stores don't have a lot of control of the merchandise they get.
There are a lot of Liberty warehouses and storefronts around the country, did you check any in your state?