Home Depot Pegs Its Growth on Contractors

The Home Depot unveiled a five-year plan to the investor community last month with enormous plans for its presence in the professional contractor market. The company’s 2010 targets include 400 to 500 new store openings and an aggressive growth trajectory for Home Depot Supply.

Joe DeAngelo, executive vice president, Home Depot Supply, gave a detailed view of the company’s plans to expand in the professional market, an opportunity estimated at more than $410 billion. The company’s planned acquisition of Hughes Supply significantly adds to its ability to accelerate its strategy and achieve sales of $23 to 27 billion by 2010.

“The strategy of Home Depot Supply is to repeat in the professional space the same type of market transformation The Home Depot pioneered and executed in the do-it-yourself retail space,” said DeAngelo. “We have established platforms that cover the continuum, from heavy infrastructure through construction to lifetime maintenance.”

Frank Blake, executive vice president, Business Development and Corporate Operations, described the steps the company is taking to continue the growth of its services and installations business, including the launch of a new customer Web site, www.myhomedepotproject.com. The company has also introduced a field organization of more than 300 associates. This new field services organization was specifically designed to proactively engage with customers during and after the installation process to drive sustainable improvements in customer service, installer performance and speed of issue resolution.

“With more than 11,000 installations per day, The Home Depot is emerging as a major force in the services arena, and we expect to continue our double-digit growth through 2010, becoming No. 1 in that market,” said Blake. “Our goal is to provide customers with one-stop shopping, affordable pricing and guaranteed results.”

Kitchens & Baths
Appliance Shipments Trend Higher

Domestic shipments of major home appliances were up modestly once again in November 2005, and were running at essentially the same pace as those of the record year in 2004, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers reported. According to the Washington, D.C.-based AHAM, November appliance shipments totaled 5.57 million units, up 1 percent from the 5.52 million units shipped in November 2004. Year-to-date shipments for the first 11 months of 2005 were pegged at 72.09 million units, 0.3 percent over the January-November 2004 total. November gains were posted for food preservation products (+13.9 percent) and kitchen cleanup appliances (+4.5 percent), AHAM said. In contrast, shipments of cooking products posted a 9.9 percent decline, the association added.

Kitchens & Baths
Code Change: Green Board not Permitted in Tile-backing Applications

The International Residential Code (IRC) has determined that starting in 2006, paper-faced green board will no longer meet its standards as an approved tile backer substrate for wall tile in wet areas such as tub and shower areas.

According to relevant section (R702.3.8), gypsum board used as the base or backer for adhesive application of ceramic tile or other required nonabsorbent finish material shall conform to ASTM C 630 or C 1178.

Use of water-resistant “green” gypsum backing board shall be permitted on ceilings where framing spacing does not exceed 12 in. on center for 1/2-in. thick or 16 in. for 5/8-in. thick gypsum board.

Water-resistant “green” gypsum board shall not be installed over a vapor retarder in a shower or tub compartment. Cut or exposed edges, including those at wall intersections, shall be sealed as recommended by the manufacturer.

Additionally, limitations in section R702.3.8.1 state that water-resistant gypsum backing board shall not be used where there will be direct exposure to water, or in areas subject to continuous high humidity.

Georgia-Pacific and other companies that make non-paper-based alternatives are promoting the change. The revised IRC Code will continue to approve glass-mat gypsum backers such as GP’s DensShield.

The new IRC code book will be available in March of this year.