Home Depot to close outlets in China

Sept. 15, 2012 at 11:31 AM
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BEIJING, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Retail giant Home Depot said it would shutter its seven big-box stores in China, a move that will cost 850 employees their jobs.

"Closing stores is always a difficult decision. We've learned a great deal over the last six years in China, and our new approach leverages that experience," said Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Frank Blake in a statement.

The China Daily reported Saturday that Home Depot would take an after-tax charge of about $160 million in the third quarter due the closings.

The company was keeping two outlets open, a paint and flooring store and a home decoration store, both in Tianjin, the newspaper said.

It was also keeping open a research and development office that employed 170 workers.

Market analyst James Roy at China Market Research in Shanghai told the Financial Times, "Home Depot failed because it didn't make any adjustments to its format to fit the way Chinese consumers shop."

"Home Depot essentially exported its big box model to China and didn't adapt," Roy said.

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