Home Depot Helps Texans Affected by Hurricane Harvey
The Home Depot Inc. was one of several companies that helped people affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Category 4 hurricane that devasted portions of Texas with catastrophic rains and flooding over the weekend. On Saturday, The Home Depot activated its Disaster Response Command Center at its store support center in Atlanta. There, the company's merchandising, operations and supply chain teams worked to move truckloads of product to stores on the Texas coast. The materials they moved were geared toward clean up and recovery efforts, and were from the company’s three hurricane distribution centers in the southern part of the United States that stock specific merchandise in case of events like these. The centers enable Home Depot to quickly deploy merchandise to areas in need. What's more, the company's nonprofit, The Home Depot Foundation, announced a commitment Monday of $1 million to support Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts in Texas and Louisiana. Funds will be distributed to several nonprofit partners including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Convoy of Hope, Operation Blessing and Team Rubicon to support both short-term relief and rebuilding needs. The Foundation's employee assistance program, The Homer Fund, will also provide emergency financial assistance to associates who have been affected by this tragedy.
Total Retail’s Take: The impact Hurricane Harvey could have on the consumer/retail sector will be $1 billion, according to a report from Planalytics, a weather analytics, software and services company. The company said while all major businesses in the area will be impacted, restaurants will take the biggest hit as these businesses do not make up for lost traffic. Malls/apparel stores will also take a big hit, and retailers with a large percentage of their total store base in Harvey's impacted areas include Dillard’s, Fred's Stores, Stage Stores, Cato Corp., 99 Cent Only Stores, and Hibbett Sports. Home improvement retailers (e.g., Home Depot, Lowe's, Tractor Supply), on the other hand, likely had an increase in traffic before the storm and will aid in the clean-up efforts. Planalytics noted that the economic impacts from major storms like Harvey are really felt in the coming weeks and months as consumers and businesses look to repair/rebuild based on their own individual situations. For example., many U.S refineries are based in Texas and have have closed/shut down as a result of Harvey. This can impact production of crude oil, which can result in an increase to gas prices in the coming days and weeks. A rise in gas prices can lead to less discretionary income for those impacted, which can result in less spending on apparel/back-to-school items, for example.