Home Depot to Add New Distribution Centers, Hire 1,000 Workers
Home Depot announced Tuesday that it will open three distribution centers in the Atlanta area over the next 18 months to keep up with rising customer expectations for fast order deliveries, which have only been amplified since the pandemic. Home Depot has scrambled to meet customers’ demand for speed and convenience. It began rolling out curbside pickup in late March, and the service is now available at most stores. Before late March, customers had to go inside to pick up online purchases. Home Depot's online sales grew by about 80 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, accounting for roughly 15 percent of its net sales. The company said it will hire 1,000 full-time and part-time employees for the three new facilities.
Total Retail's Take: Investments in the supply chain would seem to be a wise choice as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated consumers' shift to online shopping. Furthermore, retailers such as Home Depot have used this time to roll out additional fulfillment options, notably curbside pickup, and are looking to technology solutions (i.e., order and inventory management systems) to help them execute on such programs. Home Depot is preparing for this future by investing in distribution centers that can help support the business in multiple ways, including fulfilling and shipping online orders (often same day), replenishing fast-moving goods at its stores, and serving the company's contractor/pro customer base with flatbed delivery centers. As consumers have been forced to spend more time in their homes during the pandemic, and discretionary spending on entertainment, vacations, dining out, etc., limited, more are choosing to embark on home improvement projects, much to the benefit of Home Depot and others in its category. Re-investing in its supply chain will help Home Depot position itself to maintain that momentum going forward.