Home Depot to close its last seven big-box stores in China

Atlanta -- The Home Depot Inc. said Friday it will close its remaining seven big-box outlets in China and focus on Internet-based sales and specialty stores.

The chain said it will keep two specialty stores in Tianjin, a city east of Beijing, and is developing relations with Chinese e-commerce websites.

Home Depot entered China in 2006 when it acquired The Home Way, a 12-outlet chain of stores based on the American format.

"We've learned a great deal over the last six years in China, and our new approach leverages that experience and reflects our continuing interest in providing value to Chinese customers, as well as our shareholders," Home Depot chairman and CEO Frank Blake said in a statement.

The company said it would record an after-tax charge of about $160 million, or 10-cents per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2012 for the closures. It said that would include lease terminations, severance and other costs.


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