CHICAGO — Home Depot Inc. plans to eliminate 7, 000 jobs while shutting down its smaller home improvement brands as the recession continues to batter the nation's housing market. Its shares climbed more than 5 percent in morning trading.
The nation's biggest home improvement retailer said Monday the cuts will affect about 2 percent of its 300, 000 workers and cause the Atlanta-based chain to record a $532 million pretax charge, mostly in the current fourth quarter, which ends Feb. 1.
Most of the cuts affect workers at Expo Design Centers, YardBIRDS, Design Centers and HD Bath, a bath remodeling business. Combined, the four operate about four dozen locations.
Those chains' stores will close in the next two months. Liquidation sales are set to begin Tuesday morning, executives said.
Home Depot said Expo, a high-end retailer that sells everything from throw pillows, sconces and appliances to stylish bathroom remodels and upscale kitchen makeovers, never performed well financially.
"Even during the housing boom, Expo never reached our financial goals, " Chairman and Chief Executive Frank Blake said during a conference call with investors. "During the current downturn, particularly with the significant pressure on high-end decor products and services, Expo's financial performance has further deteriorated. In looking forward we don't see, even with fairly optimistic assumptions, any likelihood that Expo would generate adequate financial returns."
No Home Depot stores are affected.
Chief Financial Officer Carol Tome said the company is finalizing its 2009 outlook and doesn't expect to close any Home Depot stores or make further job cuts during the year.
"In that plan, we see no need to close any of our core stores, " she said. "We believed we right-sized the company for the size of the biz we had."
Home Depot's announcement came as the National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes posted an unexpected increase last month. The better-than-expected results showed sales of existing homes rose 6.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.74 million in December, from a downwardly revised pace of 4.45 million in November.
Buyers were taking advantage of dramatically lower prices, especially in distressed markets like much of California, Florida and Nevada, where foreclosures have swamped the market.
Home Depot's plans also include 2, 000 cuts to non-store jobs, including 500 workers in its corporate headquarters, while freezing the pay of its officers.
No I don't. I worked for the Home Depot
Expo Design Center for a while, but they shut them down :( I don't think it's realistic to think that you will graduate and then get paid to just design people's houses (which is what I thought at 18), but if you can get work doing CAD design that will be your best bet. If not, it's likely you'll end up working in a lighting or carpeting type store making minimum wage with huge student loans.
The previous comment was
If you want quality work you will have to pay. being cheap will get you cheap work.
If you want design services go to Expo Design center. They will do full design services for you (product and labor). They are very good, but expensive. But I think you are probably looking for someone hanging out outside around Home Depot. In which case, cant help there.
Wait til the ACLU gets wind of this
The Home Depot Commemorates Independence Day by Offering a 10 Percent Discount to U.S. Military Personnel
June 29, 2005
ATLANTA, June 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Home DepotÂ®, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today announced that the company is inviting all active duty personnel, reservists, retired service members, veterans and their families to receive 10 percent off their purchases in recognition of Independence Day. The offer is good on purchases up to $2,000 for a maximum discount of $200 between June 30 and July 4, 2005, at The Home Depot stores, The Home Depot Floor StoresÂ®, The Home Depot Landscape SupplyÂ® stores and EXPO Design CenterÂ® locations