Home Depot to Close a Number of Expo Design Stores

Home Depot will shut down two of its high-end design stores, in Concord and East Palo Alto, Calif., and replace them with two more Home Depots, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Expo Design Center caters to a wealthier customer base than Home Depot, selling high-end fixtures to people looking to remodel their kitchens and bathrooms, according to the article.

In its first-quarter earnings report, Home Depot, based in Atlanta, stated that it would close 15 of its Expo Design centers and convert five others, including the ones in East Palo Alto and Concord, into Home Depots.

"The Expo Design Center is a profitable and viable business. However, in certain stores our business objectives were not being met," said company spokesperson David Sandor in the article.

Both the East Palo Alto and Concord stores opened in November 2000. The one in Concord will close near the end of the summer and reopen as a Home Depot. The store in East Palo Alto is located near a Home Depot, so it will be swallowed up as part of an expansion project.

"Our goal is no net job loss as a result of these changes," Sandor said in the article.

Home Depot introduced the Expo stores 11 years ago. But unlike Home Depot, where customers tend to make frequent trips over shorter distances, the Expo Design Center attracts people interested in larger projects that do not require as many visits.

"People are more willing to drive farther distances to the Expo centers," Sandor was quoted as saying. "You're more likely to see Home Depots in closer proximity to customers."

Home Depot operates 54 Expo stores across the country. Other Expo Design Centers in the Bay Area are in Dublin, Oakland and San Jose, Calif.

The company has no plans to open any new Expo stores this year, Sandor said.


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