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Home Depot cutting building plans

According to reports on Bloomberg.com and PR Newswire, Home Depot, the world’s biggest home-improvement retailer, will cut back on growth, closing some existing stores and scrapping plans to build new ones.
It is not known if the store planned for Salisbury is one of the stores that will not be finished. In an April 24 story in the Post about Wallace Commons, a spokeswoman said plans for construction of the 130,953 square-foot store had been, “a little bit delayed.”
Home Depot has indicated it is abandoning plans to build 50 stores and will reduce investments in new locations by about $1 billion through 2011.
These stores had been in the planning stages for up to 10 years, according to PR Newswire. Home Depot will still build 36 new U.S. stores.
The 15 existed stores, listed as “underperforming” that will be closed are in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Those closings will affect about 1,300 employees. It is estimated the action will cost $586 million, mostly in the first quarter.
Chief Executive Officer Frank Blake, who took over in January 2007, has already sold HD Supply, the wholesale commercial-builder unit. With customer service suffering, Blake has closed landscape and floor outlets to focus on retail stores.

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