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Home Depot digs in

With Home Depot's market penetration ranging from 3 percent to 20 percent in the 145 markets where it does business, company executives last week said that even in the most mature markets there are opportunities for growth.

In the Northeastern corridor alone, Bob Nardelli, president, chairman and ceo, said during its 4Q conference call, it has will add 50 stores in uncaptured markets over the next several years. (See financials, p. 22.)

The Home Depot is the market leader in 22 of the top 25 markets, he added.

With "unprecedented" store resets last year, the rugs have already seen positive results from new fashion-forward repositioning and saw unit volume increase year over year.

The company expects resets to be completed this year, and the installation of Design Place, the in-store decor program, is now in 873 stores, with another 556 targeted.

Merchandising was also centralized last year, and the assortment was rationalized, Nardelli said, with 19,000 skus replaced, providing innovation and customer-driven products.

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