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Home Depot to close Expo, axe 7,000

Atlanta – Home improvement titan The Home Depot is ending its 18-year experiment in the upscale merchandising segment, closing EXPO as part of a $532 million corporate cutback.

Investors, apparently glad to see Home Depot take its medicine, sent the share price up nearly 5% today in heavy trading.

Besides shutting down the 34 EXPO Design Center stores, HD will eliminate five YardBIRDS stores, two Design Center stores and its seven-unit HD Bath chain. Along with cuts to various support and management staff, the total reduction is about 7,000 associates, or some 2% of the 300,000 Home Depot workforce, the company said.

The $77 billion, 2,274-unit retailer said it will reduce capital expenditure to about $1 billion in the coming fiscal year and will open 12 stores.

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