Thursday, June 05, 2008

Home Depot - No more professional home installation service?

Home Depot (HD) doesn't expect future growth for HD professional home installation service, but the struggling business would not be abandoned either.

Customers have complained about the quality of work done by the people Home Depot hires to do home installation of kitchen appliances, flooring and other items.

HD wants to use the unit to drive customers into its core retail stores.

While Home Depot doesn't expect the unit to be an independent driver of growth for the company, that doesn't mean HD will exit the business.

Without a doubt, HD customers have a need for a 'do-it-for-me' solution, but if HD can't effectively execute, they'll be more interested in serving the pro who does it for HD customer than in providing the service directly ourselves.

Last December, Home Depot announced that it was cutting 950 jobs in the unit and shifting work from three centers to its stores in a bid to improve customer service.

Home Depot said it would have eight call centers left in North America after closing the three.

The call centers give price quotes and complete orders for customers who go into stores and order flooring and other types of home installations.

Home Depot has been hit hard by the slumping housing market. Last month, it reported a 66 % drop in first-quarter profit.

Home Depot see more negatives than positives for the remainder of this year.

The long-term fundamentals of the industry remain strong.

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