January 26, 2009

Home Depot to close stores, cut 7,000 jobs

Home Depot Inc. said Monday it would close 48 locations and lay off 7,000 U.S. workers as a reaction to the economic environment.

The retailer said the move would not impact floor-staff who deal with customers at stores that remain open. However, at its continuing locations, reductions are planned for 10 percent of its managerial staff, about 2,000 jobs, American City Business Journals reported Monday.

Home Depot cut 500 jobs a year ago and closed 15 stores at the cost of 1,300 jobs last May. With Monday's announcement, the company said it would close its 34 EXPO Design Centers, five YardBirds stores, two Design Center outlets and seven Home Depot outlets.

The EXPO Design business, focused on interior design projects, has not performed well financially and is not expected to anytime soon, the company said.

Even during the recent housing boom, it was not a strong business, the company said.