Another knockout blow delivered by the faltering economy: Home Depot has announced that it will be closing all of its Expo Design Center stores across the country, with the liquidation sales beginning immediately. The outlet had served as a more upscale version of its larger, self-service relative, functioning as both a retail store and a home design/redecorating consultation service. Unfortunately for the company, the concept never really took off and had struggled almost from the start, with little to no improvement in its seventeen year life span, which led to even greater suffering once people stopped spending and the real estate market crumbled toward the end of last year. With the close comes a loss of around seven thousand people. Here’s a bit:
People laid off will be offered a severance package of at least 60 days’ pay, said Home Depot spokesman Ron DeFeo. Some may find other jobs within the company, DeFeo said, but it’s unknown how many jobs will be available.
The decision will result in the loss of about 5,000 retail jobs and 2,000 support jobs at the specialized stores, DeFeo said. Together, the losses will total 2% of the company’s workforce, Home Depot said.
For more information on the closure, we recommend reading BNET Retail‘s take on all of it, as well as the upscale retail design market as a whole. And here’s the press release from Home Depot about the closing.