Home Depot Plans New Initiatives

Atlanta, The Home Depot’s plan to open 400 to 500 stores over the next five years marks a real estate slowdown for the No. 1 home-improvement chain. The new pace of less than 100 stores per year contrasts with 204 new stores in 2000 and 183 new stores in 2004, for instance.

However, the company will pick up the pace in the services side of the business, which will grow to about 5% to 6% of the company’s overall sales by the year 2010. That effort was lifted by the company’s recently announced plan to acquire Hughes Supply Inc. for $3.2 billion, the company’s largest acquisition to date. Home Depot also views the Internet business as a $1 billion business over the next five years.

The Home Depot announced a range of new initiatives for 2006 at its annual meeting with the investment community. “Over the next five years, The Home Depot expects to maintain and grow its leadership position in home improvement retail worldwide,” said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO. “At the same time, we expect to become the nation's largest diversified wholesale distributor, become number one in services and will dramatically increase our direct-to-consumer channels. Our 2006 initiatives demonstrate that we are well on our way to accomplishing our 2010 goals.”

The company’s 2010 targets include: annual sales growth of 9% to 12%, earnings per share growth of 10% to 14%, 400 to 500 new store openings and an aggressive growth trajectory for Home Depot Supply.

The company plans four convenience store openings in the first half of 2006.

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