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.
“Bernie and I founded [The Home Depot] with a special vision — to create a company that would keep alive the values that were important to us. Values like respect among all people, excellent customer service and giving back to communities and society.”
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 21. 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 [335423 842914 / 33.9065N 84.4872W / 33.9065; -84.4872 (former location of The Home Depot's first store (Marietta Plaza, 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 (335154 842855 / 33.865N 84.482W / 33.865; -84.482 (The Home Depot, headquarters)) is a complex of high-rise buildings 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. The tallest is approximately 85 metres (280 ft) high, the fourth-tallest in the Vinings area.
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.
In 2007 the Home Depot sold its USD $ 13 billion revenue wholesale (trade) division, HD Supply, to a consortium of three private equity firms, The Carlyle Group, Bain Capital and Clayton, Dubilier and Rice (with each agreeing to buy a one-third stake in the division). Home Depot sold their wholesale construction supply business to fund a stock repurchase estimated at $ 40 billion
The Home Depot today
Distribution of Home Depot stores in the lower 48 states
The Home Depot in Durham, North Carolina
Home Depot stores are large, averaging 105,000 ft (9,755 m) 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 2005 sales totaled US$ 91.8 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 owned EXPO Design Center, a chain of higher-end home decorating and appliance stores, but closed the chain in 2009. In 2006, the Home Depot acquired Hughes Supply which was assimilated into HD Supply serving contractors, which it eventually sold in June 2007. 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 been criticized because when the stock went down his pay went up. His successor is Frank Blake, who previously served as the company’s vice chairman of the board and executive vice president. Blake agreed to a much more conservative compensation package than his predecessor that is very heavily dependent upon the success of the company.
In 2008 and 2009, with the downturn in the housing market, The Home Depot announced the layoff of several thousand associates, as well as the closing of 54 stores nationwide, including the entire EXPO Design Center chain. In the year to February 2009 sales totaled $ 71.288 billion, more than $ 20 billion down from the peak of two years earlier due to the sale of HD Supply and falling revenue at the retained business.
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. The Home Depot’s board consists of 10 members, with 9 of them being outside directors.
The slogan “More saving. More doing.” was introduced by The Home Depot in the March 18, 2009 circular, replacing “You can do it. We can help.” which had been used 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 homedepot.com attracted at least 120 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com survey.
The Home Depot exclusively carries several major brands, including:
American Craftsman by Andersen (windows, patio doors)
American Woodmark (cabinetry)
Brinkmann outdoor grills and supplies
Chem-Dry (carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, tile and grout services)
Feather River Doors
G.E. (water heaters)
Glacier Bay (faucets and bath)
Homelite (outdoor and power tools)
Legacy Doors (premium wood and steel entry doors)
Martha Stewart Living (outdoor furniture, indoor organization and decor products) (Coming January 2010)
Millstead (lumber, store brand)
Pegasus (kitchen and bath items)
Sharkbite (plumbing PE-X pipe and fittings)
Ryobi (power 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)
n:vision (compact fluorescent bulbs, formerly part of Commercial Electric)
Workforce (tools,shelving, storage cabinets, extension cords, worklights, tarps, paintbrushes)
Commercial Electric and n:vision both have addresses listed in Mableton, the next town southwest of the company’s Vinings headquarters.
Starting in 2006, the Home Depot has started testing with fuel centers at some of its stores. The first such “Home Depot Fuel” convenience store (C-Store) was located in Brentwood, Tennessee followed a month later by a center about 20 miles (32 km) away in Hermitage, both suburbs of Nashville. Four additional prototype stores were built within the year at Acworth, Georgia; Smyrna, Tennessee ; Greensboro, Georgia; and then Winchester, Tennessee in that order. The centers are expected to earn $ 5$ 7 million per year, though the actual number is reported to be much higher. 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 offer car washes, which are large enough to accommodate full-size pickup trucks.
Social and community philanthropy
The Home Depot Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the company created in 2002. It has contributed over $ 200 million in time, labor, money, and supplies to a number of causes, including Habitat for Humanity, California-based City of Hope Cancer Center, and playground construction organization KaBOOM!
Home Depot has partnered with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Georgia campaign, leading both supplies and facility use to this statewide effort to increase emergency preparedness among Georgia’s children. The company also provided ready kits and other prizes for an art and essay contest for Georgia elementary school students.
In 2005, Home Depot was among 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $ 250,000 to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.
The Home Depot also operates their own Political Action Committee which is named “Home Depot PAC”. Under the political action committee, the company can endorse candidates, contribute to campaigns and lobby for legislation.
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.” The Home Depot introduced a label on nearly 3,000 products in 2007. The label promotes