The Home Depot was founded in 1978 by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank. Along with investment banker Ken Langone and merchandising guru Pat Farrah, the foundersí vision of one-stop shopping for the do-it-yourselfer came to fruition when they opened the first two Home Depot stores on June 22, 1979, in Atlanta, Georgia. The first stores, at around 60,000 square feet each, were cavernous warehouses that dwarfed the competition and stocked 25,000 SKUs, much more than the average hardware store at that time. Empty boxes piled high on the shelves gave the illusion of even more product.
From the start, associates were able to offer the best customer service in the industry, guiding customers through projects such as laying tile, changing a fill valve or handling a power tool. Not only did store associates undergo rigorous product knowledge training, but they also began offering clinics so customers could learn how to do it themselves. The Home Depot revolutionized the home improvement industry by bringing the know-how and the tools to the consumer and by saving them money.
According to Bernie and Arthur, the customer has a bill of rights at The Home Depot, and this entitles the customer to the right assortment, quantities and price, along with trained associates on the sales floor who want to take care of customers. Their philosophy of customer service ñ ìwhatever it takesî ñ means cultivating a relationship with customers rather than merely completing a transaction. As Bernie says in Built from Scratch, ìAt the end of the day, weíre in the people business.î
The Home Depot Values The Home Depot is still guided today by those values established by its founders: excellent customer service, taking care of people, entrepreneurial spirit, respect for all people, building strong relationships, doing the right thing, giving back to communities, and creating shareholder value. The founders viewed the structure of the company as an inverted pyramid, with stores and customers at the top and senior management on the bottom. Arthur demanded that associates take risks to succeed, saying, ìIt is your business, your division, your market, your store, your aisle and your customer.î
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A Story of Growth The Home Depot is the fastest growing retailer in U.S. history. In 1981, the company went public on NASDAQ and moved to the New York Stock Exchange in 1984. The 1980s and 1990s spawned tremendous growth for the company, with 1989 marking the celebration of its 100th store opening. The company arrived in Canada with the acquisition of Aikenheadís home improvement centers in 1994, and it began flying its flag proudly in Mexico in 2001 through the acquisition of Total HOME. In 2006, the company extended its reach to China by acquiring The Home Way, a 12 store chain.
From the beginning, The Home Depot developed strategic product alliances directly with industry-leading manufacturers to deliver the most exclusive assortments to customers. Through a combination of national brands and proprietary products like RyobiÆ tools, RIDGIDÆ tools, BEHRÆ paint, LGÆ appliances, and ToroÆ and Cub CadetÆ lawn equipment, the company sets the standard for innovative merchandise for the do-it-yourselfer and the professional contractor.
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The Legend ñ The Home Depot Museum The Legend, our company museum, chronicles the history of The Home Depot and illustrates the values that set us apart. The Legend opened in 1999 at the Atlanta Store Support Center. It is primarily an internal educational tool for The Home Depot associates, their families, vendors and stockholders. The museum is open to groups on a limited basis by appointment only. Please contact us at (770) 433-8211 for more information.
We collect and archive materials from the early days of The Home Depot to the present. If you are a past or current associate of The Home Depot and have items you would like to add to our collection, please contact us at (770) 433-8211 for more information.
Did You Know?
We are the worldís largest home improvement retailer.
We are the second largest retailer in the U.S.
We are the third largest retailer in the world.
The Home Depot is the youngest retailer in the Fortune 50.
The Home Depot is ranked No. 8 on the S&P 500 list of largest employer of the companies. This excludes companies that did not report
The Home Depot is ranked No. 17 on the Fortune 500 U.S. list.
The Home Depot is ranked No. 79 on the Forbes 2000 Largest Companies list.
The Home Depot is ranked No. 50 on the BusinessWeek 50 list.
The Home Depot is ranked No. 44 on the Forbes Global list.
The Home Depot created nearly 20,000 net new jobs in 2006.
The Home Depot won the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for our leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through marketing and promotion of energy-efficient solutions.
Since 1997, more than 17.5 million projects have been completed at Kids Workshops.
More than 1 million children built their first toolbox at a Kids Workshop.
The Home Depot is the world's leading employer of Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls.
The Home Depot is the fastest growing retailer to reach $30 billion, $40 billion, $50 billion, $60 billion and $70 billion in sales. At the end of fiscal year 2006, revenue was $90.8 billion.
More than 22 million people visit The Home Depot each week.
The Home Depot is the largest home-improvement retailer in Canada and Mexico.
In 2006, Team Depot donated a half million hours working on community service projects.
The Home Depot, The Home Depot Foundation, and our suppliers committed a total of more than $11 million to support recovery and rebuilding efforts throughout the regions impacted by the Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.