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Monday, January 26, 2009

Home Depot to shutter Expo Design Centers

Home Depot announced that it will close all 34 stores of its higher-end Expo Design Center chain. Launched in 1991, Expo stores sold top of the line appliances, flooring, and fixtures as well as decorative accessories and furniture. Expo centers also offered the decorating services of "design associates."

The closings will spell the loss of over 5000 store positions and nearly 2000 support jobs.

[Reuters]

14 comments:

nkp said...

Well that just sucks, to put it bluntly. Leave it to you to tell me what's going on in my own backyard! We've made a number of purchases from Expo over the years and it really was a great resource. Things just keep getting darker and darker....where's the light at the end of the tunnel, Mrs. Obvious?

On an unrelated note, what about GA Tech for Larry Bear? Just minutes from the Mart, and housing prices aren't falling, they are a plummetin'!

Raina said...

We did look at GA Tech but the open position didn't match LB's skill set.

Trust me, I was bummed. I love Atlanta.

erin@designcrisis said...

The Austin Design Expo is already closed, and it brought a tear to my eye, but I wasn't really planning to buy a 15k chandelier, anyway.

However, the mounting job losses are really starting to scare me.

Awesome Sara said...

All those people who lost their jobs, my heart hurts for them. I'm also getting extra scared about the unemployment rate. I just finished school and have to pay my loan back and if there are no jobs. F*ck can you hear my blood pressure rising!!!

Raina said...

I do hear you, Sara. I have no illusions about finding employment when we return.

I'm thinking about going back for my Masters at whatever school LB ends up. By the time I done, hopefully things will have rebounded. Hopefully.

Designers' Brew said...

yowch. i would mention how thankful i am still to be employed if i didn't want to jinx myself.

hello gorgeous said...

I did see this today. We had one near my house in Illinois and there's not one in sight anywhere near me now. And now it's done. Shit.

It is getting bad. I agree that it's time for Mrs. Obvs to step in.

Amy said...

I loved Expo I used to always go in the one in Houston...I loved it! I can not believe that many are closing....I am hearing about so many things closing it is a tragedy!!

Raina said...

I have no idea where or when this will all end. Having been in retail since God created cash registers, I have seen tons and tons of waste. Sloppy buying, broken processes, weak management.

One benefit of this extraordinary shakeout will be a much better managed retail industry. One of my fears though is that with so few players, pricing and margins will leap out of control when the dust does settle. We'll see...

Robin said...

That is a shame, there is nothing else like them, no other opp for the average homeowner to have that visualization experience & be inspired. The closest thing is Ikea and it doesn't even begin to approximate the experience. Boo hiss.

susieq said...

It's really devastating to us here in Atlanta. On local news, the Home Depot spokesman handled really badly saying that Expo employees could apply for open positions at Home Depot along with the general public. No preferential treatment. Not nice.

Raina said...

Susie Q, That would make me want to give my home improvement project dollars to Lowes.

Decorina said...

I already stopped ever patronizing HD and go exclusively to Lowes when I absolutely have to shop at a big box. When I was driving I delivered to a HD distribution center where they treated me very, very badly. I will never darken their door again.

Raina said...

Good to know, Decorina. I guess crap management is pervasive at that company.

After being a Lowes shopper for years, I went to an HD to see what all the fuss was about. I thought it poorly organized and laid out and never returned.