The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer and the second-largest retailer in the US, has announced that it is closing stores and scaling back store openings.
Fifteen under-performing US outlets will be closed, with the loss of up to 1,300 jobs, and plans for 50 new openings in the US will be axed. However, the retailer, which operates over 1,500 outlets across North America, is going ahead with 55 new stores, 36 of them in the US.
The Home Depot said the moves would improve cash flow, provide stronger returns and allow it to invest in existing stores. New store capital spending will be cut by $1bn over the next three years.
The retailer’s chairman and CEO Frank Blake said: “Closing a store is always a difficult decision because it affects both our people and our communities. But, as with our decision to slow future store growth, this is the right decision and will bring long-term benefits to our associates and to our shareholders.
“By building fewer stores, in the best locations, and making sure our existing stores are profitable, our company will be in a much stronger competitive position.”
Retail sales at The Home Depot were worth $77.3bn last year. In total, the company has more than 2,200 retail stores in the US, Canada, Mexico and China.