The Home Depot is closing its remaining seven big box stores in China, opting to focus on specialty stores and online offerings in that market.
The Home Depot will maintain two recently opened specialty stores – a paint and flooring store and a Home Decorators Collection store – and is in the beginning stages of developing relationships with several of China’s leading eCommerce websites, a reflection of Chinese customers’ needs and shopping preferences.
The store closings will affect approximately 850 associates, who will receive severance packages and job placement assistance.
“Closing stores is always a difficult decision,” says Frank Blake, chairman & CEO, The Home Depot. “We are thankful for the dedicated service of our store associates in China, and we wish them all the best during this transition.”
While it is closing its big box stores, The Home Depot is maintaining a new formats team to continue research and development activities, as well as approximately 170 associates in China, working in the sourcing offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
“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,” says Blake.