Home Depot is the world's biggest home improvement retailer by a considerable margin. Each of its massive stores in North America stocks up to 40,000 different kinds of building materials, home improvement supplies, appliances and lawn and garden products, catering to professionals as well as amateur DIY-ers. The slowing US housing market prompted disappointing financial performance after 2007 including, that year, the first fall in comparable annual sales in the company's history. Yet gradually, growth has returned since 2010. Despite its size, Home Depot has been cautious about moving beyond its home country, although it has operations in Canada and Mexico. An attempt to establish a presence in China failed to take off and was abandoned at the beginning of 2011. Nevertheless, Home Depot has often been highlighted as a potential bidder for Europe's DIY giant Kingfisher, whose B&Q chain in the UK has borrowed many of its ideas, including the orange box logo, instore experts and staff aprons. So far no deal has materialised. As of 2020, Home Depot had 2,291 stores, mainly in the US, where more than 90% of sales are generated, but also in Canada and Mexico. Expansion into South America in the 1990s proved unsuccessful, as was a move into China from 2006 onwards. That venture was terminated after only six years. Wholesale division HD Supply was also divested as a result of poor performance. Group revenues topped $100bn for the first time in year ending March 2018, rising to a new high of $110.2bn for ye 2020, with net profits of $11.2bn, also a best-ever performance. Craig Menear is chairman & CEO. Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank founded the business in 1978, and led the company for its first 24 years before retiring in 2002.
Capsule checked 1st May 2020
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th May 2016: Home Depot confirmed the departure of chief marketing officer Trish Mueller after five years in that role. She has been replaced by Kevin Hofmann, also director of online operations.
Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Sept 2014: Home Depot confirmed that it had suffered a huge breach of its IT security. It admitted that card information for as many as 56m customers had been stolen in a prolonged five-month attack by what it called "unique, custom-built malware". The size of the attack is even bigger than the raid on Target over the 2013 holiday season, in which details for 40m customers were hacked. Fraudulent transactions using the stolen cards have already begun to be identified across the US.
Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Sept 2014: Home Depot is the latest major US retailer to have suffered a serious data breach by cyber-thieves. US banks reported that a huge quantity of newly stolen credit card data is being offered for sale by Russian and Ukrainian hackers, and that the trails appear to lead back to Home Depot. The hackers claim to be retaliating for US and European economic sanctions against Russia. According to security analysts, the number of accounts compromised could even be bigger than the 40m customers who had details stolen via Target over the 2013 holiday season. Home Depot confirmed it is working with its banking partners and law enforcement agencies to investigate the situation.
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