The Home Depot

The Home Depot

Infobox Company
company_name = The Home Depot, Inc.
company_type = Public (nyse|HD)
slogan = "You Can Do It. We Can Help."
foundation = 1978 (Marietta, Georgia)
location = Vinings, Georgia
key_people = Frank Blake, CEO & chairman
industry = Retail (home improvement)
num_employees = 355,000
products = Home improvement products such as appliances, tools, hardware,lumber, building materials, paint, plumbing, flooring and garden supplies & plants.
revenue = profit$90.837 billion USD (2006)
net_income = profit$5.761 billion USD (2006)
homepage = [] |

The Home Depot (nyse|HD) is an American retailer of home improvement and construction products and services.Headquartered in Vinings, just outside Atlanta, The Home Depot employs more than 355,000 people and operates 2,141 big-box format stores across the United States (including the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam), Canada (ten provinces), Mexico and China.cite web
publisher=The Home Depot
title=The Home Depot Names Helen Johnson-Leipold to Its Board of Directors
work=News Releases
date=November 17, 2006
] The world's second-largest Home Depot (as of the end of 2007) opened November 14, 2007 on the island of Guam.

The Home Depot is the largest home-improvement retailer in the United States, ahead of rival Lowe's, and the second-largest general retailer in the United States, behind only Wal-Mart. [ [ Top 100 Retailers: The Nation's Retail Power Players (PDF)] , "Stores", July 2006.]


The Home Depot was founded in 1978 by Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, Ron Brill, and Pat Farrah. The Home Depot's proposition was to build home-improvement warehouses, larger than any of their competitors' facilities. Investment banker Ken Langone helped Marcus and Blank to secure the necessary capital.

In 1979, the first two stores, built in spaces leased from J. C. Penney that were originally Treasure Island "hypermarket" (discount department and grocery) stores, opened in metro Atlanta on June 22. Two more opened not long after, and all four shared the space under the "squiggly" zig-zag roof with Zayre on its right side. The first headquarters was on Terrell Mill Road on the southeast side of Marietta, Georgia, just down from one of the stores at the corner of Cobb Parkway. (That store [coord|33.9065|-84.4872|display=inline|name=former location of The Home Depot's first store (1979)] , in the Marietta Plaza strip mall, became Value City, changing to Burlington Coat Factory in 2008; part was also a short-lived Little Bucks, in which Brill had a stake.) Since the 1990s, its current headquarters (coord|33.865|-84.482|display=inline|name=The Home Depot, headquarters)is a high-rise building on Paces Ferry Road, on the western edge of the Cumberland/Galleria edge city in unincorporated Cobb County, Georgia, across Interstate 285 from the town of Vinings, and served by mail from Atlanta.

In 2000, after the retirement of Marcus and Blank, Robert Nardelli was appointed chairman, president, and CEO. Nardelli was replaced in January 2007 by Frank Blake.cite web
publisher=The Home Depot
title=Robert Nardelli Resigns as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Home Depot and Is Succeeded by Frank Blake
work=News Releases
date=January 3, 2007

In 2007 the Home Depot sold its USD $13 billion revenue wholesale division, HD Supply, to a consortium of three private equity firms.

The Home Depot today

Home Depot stores are large, averaging 105,000 ft² (9,755 m²) and organized warehouse-style, stocking a large range of supplies. The company color is a bright orange (PMS 165, CMYK 60M100Y), on signs, equipment and employee aprons.

Its 2006 sales totaled US$90.8 billion (US$77.0 billion in retail sales). Despite the 10% increase in revenue, it dropped three spots to #17 on the 2007 FORTUNE magazine's FORTUNE 500 list (it was #13 in 2005 and #14 in 2006). The Home Depot also owns [ EXPO Design Center] , a chain of higher-end home decorating and appliance stores. In 2006, the Home Depot acquired Hughes Supply which is to be assimilated into [ HD Supply] serving contractors. In September 2005, Home Depot Direct launched its high-end online home-furnishings store, 10 Crescent Lane, shortly followed by the launch of Paces Trading Company, its high-end online lighting store. In mid 2006, the Home Depot acquired Home Decorators Collection which was placed as an additional brand under its Home Depot Direct Division. Home Depot Landscape Supply, with only a few stores each in metro Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth, was founded in 2002 and closed in late 2007.

On January 2, 2007, the Home Depot and Robert Nardelli mutually agreed on Nardelli's resignation as CEO after a six-year tenure. Nardelli resigned amid complaints over his heavy-handed management and whether his pay package of $123.7 million, excluding stock option grants, over the past 5 years was excessive considering the stock's poor performance versus its competitor Lowe's. His golden parachute severance package of $210 million has also been criticized because when the stock went down his pay went up.cite web
publisher=Business Week
title=Home Depot's Surprising Choice for CEO
date=January 4, 2007
] His successor is Frank Blake, who previously served as the company's vice chairman of the board and executive vice president.

Board of directors

Current members of the board of directors of the Home Depot are: F. Duane Ackerman, David H. Batchelder, Frank Blake, Ari Bousbib, Gregory D. Brenneman, Albert P. Carey, Armando Codina, Brian C. Cornell, Bonnie G. Hill, and Karen Katen. [cite web|url=|title=Board of Directors|work=Corporate Governance|publisher=The Home Depot|date=2008-05-21|accessdate=2008-06-09] The Home Depot's board consists of 10 members, with 9 of them being outside directors.


The slogan "You can do it. We can help." has been used by the Home Depot since 2003. Other slogans used in the past 25 years include "The Home Depot, Low prices are just the beginning" in the early 1990s and "When you're at the Home Depot, You'll feel right at home" in the late 1990s and "The Home Depot: First In Home Improvement!" from 1999-2003.


The domain "" attracted at least [ 120 million visitors] annually by 2008 according to a survey.

Exclusive brands

The Home Depot exclusively carries several major brands, including:
*BEHR Paint
*Chem-Dry (carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, tile and grout services)
*Distinctions Cabinetry
*Feather River Doors
*G.E. (water heaters)
*Glacier Bay (faucets and bath)
*Husky (tools, store brand)
*Lutron (lighting controls)
*Pegasus (kitchen and bath items)
*Ryobi (power tools)
*Thomasville cabinetry
*Vigoro (fertilizer, store brand)
*Dewalt tools

Additionally, the retailer has its own house brands:
*Commercial Electric (lighting and electrical)
*Eco Options (store brand)
*Hampton Bay (lighting, ceiling fans & patio furniture)
* (compact fluorescent bulbs, formerly part of Commercial Electric)

Commercial Electric and n:vision both have addresses listed in Mableton, the next town southwest of the company's Vinings headquarters.

Fuel centers

Starting in 2006, the Home Depot has started testing with fuel centers at some of its stores. The first center, located in Acworth, Georgia, followed by two additional centers in Hermitage and Brentwood, Tennessee, and are expected to earn $5-$7 million per year. The fuel centers sell beer, hot food, snacks along with providing diesel at a separate island. This allows contractors with large trucks to be able to fill their vehicles. The fuel centers also offer car washes, which are large enough to accommodate full-size pickup trucks.cite web
publisher=PR Newswire
title=The Home Depot Opens First Home Depot Fuel Location in Georgia
date=September 25, 2006

Home Depot construction toys

The Home Depot also has its own brand of construction toys, which include plastic hammers, wrenches, and screwdrivers, but are sold exclusively at Toys R Us. Fact|date=January 2008

ocial and community philanthropy

"The company is also dedicated to giving back to the community and donates time, labor, money, and supplies to numerous charities, totaling more than $200 million in contributions. The Home Depot Foundation, established in 2002, supports a variety of community projects, including Habitat for Humanity; City of Hope Cancer Center, a California-based cancer-treatment center; and KaBOOM!, a playground-construction organization. [cite web|title=Business & Industry: The Home Depot|author=Bailey,M.|publisher=Georgia College and State University|url=]

In 2005, Home Depot was among 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $250,000 to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush. [cite news |first=Jim |last=Drinkard |title=Donors get good seats, great access this week |url= |publisher=USA Today |date=2005-01-17 |accessdate=2008-05-25 ] [cite news |title=Financing the inauguration |url= |publisher=USA Today |date= |accessdate=2008-05-25 ] [cite news |title=Some question inaugural's multi-million price tag |url= |publisher=USA Today |date=2005-01-14 |accessdate=2008-05-25 ]

Environmental record

The Home Depot has stated on their website that they have a commitment "to the environment and pledge to continue to be an industry leader in looking for products and services that are respectful of our world."cite web
publisher=The Home Depot
title=Business Code of Conduct and Ethics
work=Corporate Governance
] Home Depot introduced a label on nearly 3,000 products in 2007. The label promotes energy conservation, sustainable forestry and clean water. Home Depot executives said that as the world’s largest buyer of construction material, their company had the power to persuade thousands of suppliers, homebuilders and consumers to follow its lead on environment sustainability. “Who in the world has a chance to have a bigger impact on this sector than Home Depot?” said Ron Jarvis, who is the vice president for environmental innovation at Home Depot. cite web|url=|publisher=New York Times|title=Home Depot to Display an Environmental Label|date=April 17, 2007] This program is following Home Depot’s promise in late 1990s to eliminate the number of sales of lumber from endangered forests in countries including Chile and Indonesia. [cite web
url=|publisher=Planet ARK|title=Home Depot adopts new wood purchasing policy|date=January 6, 2003
] Home Depot has since worked with environmental groups to create a variety of green programs. For example Home Depot planted thousands of trees at its headquarters in Atlanta to offset carbon emissions.

Additionally, The Home Depot promotes compact fluorescent light bulbs in their stores. As part of this effort, the company has created the largest recycling program in the United States for the bulbs. cite web|url=|publisher=New York Times|title=Home Depot Offers Recycling for Compact Fluorescent Bulbs|date=June 24,2008]

Major sponsorships

Since 1991, the company has become a large supporter of athletics, sponsoring the United States and Canadian Olympic teams, and launching a program which offered employment to athletes that accommodates their training and competition schedules. While remaining supportive of Canadian Olympians, the Home Depot ceased to be a sponsor of the Canadian Olympic Team in 2005.

Company co-founder Blank also purchased the Atlanta Falcons franchise of the National Football League in February 2002. The Home Depot is also the primary sponsor of two time NASCAR Champion (2002, 2005) Joe Gibbs Racing. NASCAR driver Tony Stewart drives the Home Depot #20 Toyota Camry until the end of the 2008 NASCAR schedule. At the beginning of the 2009 season, Joey Logano will take the wheel of the #20. The Home Depot is also the title sponsor of The Home Depot Center in Carson, California, home to both the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA of (Major League Soccer), and Los Angeles Riptide (Major League Lacrosse), and many past major sporting events. innovative solutions for the home in areas such as security and home monitoring, communications, energy efficiency, entertainment, environment and health.cite web
publisher=Duke University
title=Duke Announces Construction of “The Home Depot Smart Home”
date=October 24, 2006

In January 2007, the Home Depot became the official Home Improvement sponsor of the National Football League.cite web
publisher=The Home Depot
title=The Home Depot Becomes an Official NFL Sponsor
date=January 9, 2007

Seventy-three percent of the Home Depot's campaign contributions went to Republican candidates in the 2005-2006 US elections. "Home Depot's PAC gives money based on a candidate's voting record, committee assignment and leadership position," said company spokesman Jerry Shields.cite web|url=||title=Republican Candidates Increase Share of Business PAC Donations|date=August 8, 2006] The CEO in this period was Bob Nardelli, a friend of Bush.cite web|url=||title=Nardelli resigns abruptly as CEO of Home Depot, leaves with $210M|date=Jan 3, 2007] Nardelli hosted a garden reception/fundraiser for Bush at his Atlanta home on May 20, 2004. [cite news|url=,6903,1222706,00.html|title=Bush's super fundraisers join the queue for favours|first=Paul|last=Harris|date=May 23, 2004|accessdate=2007-10-24]

The Home Depot internationally


Home Depot Canada is the Canadian unit of the Home Depot and one of Canada's top home improvement retailers. The Canadian operation consists of nearly 190 stores and employs over 35,000 people in Canada. Home Depot Canada has stores in all ten Canadian provinces and serves territorial Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon through electronic means (Online and catalog sales).

The Canadian unit was created with the purchase of Aikenhead's Hardware. Home Depot management has an ambitious plan to overtake its biggest competitor, RONA, which has about four times as many stores. However, many of RONA's stores are smaller than the typical Home Depot store. In terms of big box stores, the Home Depot has many more stores than RONA. As of 2007, RONA pulled ahead of The Home Depot in total retail sales, due to aggressive consolidation efforts by RONA, combined with the loss of The Home Depot's industrial supply division, HD Supply, in July 2007. The Home Depot now faces competition from Lowe's as they have move into the Canadian market effective the end of 2007; Lowe's first seven Canadian outlets are all located in Ontario.

The Home Depot banner in Quebec reads "Home Depot" without the definite article "the" in order to ensure a more cross-compatible proper name (that does not read like a English sentence) between both the French and English languages.


The Home Depot entered Mexico in 2001, and has since become one of the largest retailers in Mexico, operating more than 50 stores with over 6,600 employees. Most of the Home Depot stores are located in the same installations in which the extinct Home Marts were located. Border town Home Depots attract some American consumers to make their US dollar go further in purchases of mostly same home improvement products in Home Depots of Tijuana, Mexicali, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros. In 2006, the Home Depot began a program to offer Mexican employees to have "guest worker" incentives for Mexican nationals and Latin Americans to easily, but legally obtain employment in Home Depots across the US. Fact|date=February 2007


In December 2006, the Home Depot announced its acquisition of the Chinese home improvement retailer The Home Way.cite web
publisher=PR News Wire
title=The Home Depot acquires The Home Way
date=December 13, 2006
] The acquisition gave the Home Depot an immediate presence in China, with 12 stores in six cities.

United Kingdom

There have been reports that the Home Depot is interested in acquiring B&Q, the largest DIY retailer in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and China. The two companies are very similar in that they both use an orange square logo, have similar uniforms and websites and use a similar slogan. Speculation of a takeover began in 1999 when the retailer ASDA was purchased by Wal-Mart. The Home Depot will have to acquire Kingfisher plc, B&Q's parent company, to acquire B&Q, Kingfisher consists of several European DIY chains however the Home Depot is only interested in B&Q operations and says that it will dispose of the Castorama chain which operates in France, Italy, Poland and Russia. Several talks have not yet resulted in a takeover deal. [ [ BBC NEWS | Business | Bid talk lifts Kingfisher shares ] ] [ [ US giant targets B&Q DIY chain | This is Money ] ] [ [ The Scotsman ] ] [ [ Kingfisher profit down 33% as B&Q unit takes a hammering ] ]

Labor union policies

The Home Depot has a strong "union-free" policy like other major retail companies, such as Wal-Mart.

In 2004, Home Depot workers at a suburban Detroit store in Harper Woods, MI, rejected a bid to be represented by a labor union, voting 115 to 42 against joining the United Food and Commercial Workers.

If the union had won, the Michigan store would have been the first Home Depot ever to have union representation. The retailer has more than 2,200 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China. [ [ Home Depot Workers Reject Bid to Unionize] ]


Whistleblower case

The Home Depot currently is embroiled in whistleblower litigation brought under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) law. In July 2005, former employee Michael Davis, represented by attorney Mark D. Schwartz, Esq., filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Home Depot, alleging that his discharge was in retaliation for refusing to make unwarranted chargebacks against vendors. Davis alleges that the Home Depot forced its employees to meet a set quota of chargebacks to cover damaged or defective merchandise, forcing employees to make chargebacks to vendors for merchandise that was undamaged and not defective. The Home Depot alleges that it fired Davis for repeatedly failing to show up for work.

The trial initially was concluded in June 2006, but in April 2007, U.S. Department of Labor Judge Pamela Lakes Wood ordered the case reopened after the Home Depot's law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld revealed that the retail giant's in-house counsel had told them that two Home Depot employees who testified at the trial had lied. Akin Gump sent Wood a letter on September 29, 2006 letter, in which the law firm requested that the testimony be stricken. In response to Akin Gump's revelation, Davis' attorney Mark D. Schwartz asked for the case to be reopened to permit further questioning of the witnesses. On April 6, 2007, Wood ordered the case to be reopened.

Schwartz believes that the witnesses who falsely denied that they had ever been asked to enter false return-to-vendor information gave false testimony under pressure from the Home Depot. Schwartz was quoted by the "New York Post" as saying, "I have reason to believe these witnesses were intimidated into giving false testimony." The Home Depot called Schwartz's allegations "meritless." [cite news|url=|title=Home Depot Case Revived|first=Suzanne|last=Kapner|publisher=New York Post|date=April 12, 2007]


Home Depot has settled the dispute in a stipulation of settlement dated March 28, 2008. In the settlement, Home Depot changes some of its corporate governance provisions. Home Depot also agreed to pay the Plaintiff's counsel $6 million in cash and $8.5 million in common stock. [cite news|url=|title=Home Depot Settlement|publisher=U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission|date=2008-03-28]


External links

* [ Expo Design Center]
* [ Home Depot, Inc. (Corporate website)]
* [ Home Depot Canada (English and French website)]
* [ Home Depot Mexico]
* [ Home Depot USA (English website)]
* [ Home Depot USA (Spanish website)]

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