FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA, GA (May 04, 2006) —
Following the most devastating hurricane season in American history, The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, announced today that it is investing $57 million to support rebuilding efforts throughout the Gulf region. Combining capital construction with philanthropic support, this investment will create jobs, drive economic activity, and support local community efforts to rebuild homes and offer hope for the future.
The bulk of the new $57 million commitment will support capital projects in the region. The company will spend more than $13 million to re-open two New Orleans-area stores, in Chalmette and along I-10 in New Orleans, that were completely destroyed. An additional $43 million will support the opening of new The Home Depot stores, including a recently announced site in downtown New Orleans near the Superdome, a new site in East Slidell, LA, and other sites along the Gulf Coast.
The Home Depot is also expanding its philanthropic commitment to the region by donating an additional $750,000 in funding to support the following community rebuilding efforts:
With these new commitments, The Home Depot adds to earlier investments in the region of more than $10 million in philanthropic support and more than $7 million in capital funding. In total, the company will have invested more than $75 million dollars into the Gulf community and anticipates significant future investments in the region as it scales its business to respond to community rebuilding needs.
“The Home Depot has been working to help support and rebuild communities in hurricane-prone areas for more than 20 years,” said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president & CEO of The Home Depot. “The 2005 hurricane season had a devastating impact on millions of people and hundreds of communities. We have created a model for responding to community needs following a disaster – one that is holistic, community-driven and sustainable over time. As a business with the resources and know-how to support these efforts, we have a responsibility to help.”
The Home Depot has previously committed $7.1 million in capital construction to re-open existing stores and to establish new temporary locations in Gretna, La., and Pass Christian, Miss. The additional $56.3 million commitment described above will increase the company’s business investment in the Gulf region to $63.4 million.
The 2005 hurricanes impacted close to 80 Home Depot stores, some of which experienced significant damage. Two stores – I-10 and Chalmette – were completely destroyed and were temporarily re-opened in modified tent formats outside the previous Home Depot locations. Re-opening these stores in full The Home Depot layouts will enable the company to meet the extraordinary needs of homeowners for building materials, tarps, appliances, generators, roofing, flooring and other products as they continue repairing and rebuilding their homes.
As a result of The Home Depot’s commitment to sustaining its business operations and responding to community needs in the region, the company has created 1,240 net new jobs as stores re-opened and increased operations to respond to brisk customer demand in the region. The company also offered transfers to other The Home Depot stores for nearly 600 associates who had worked and lived in the Gulf region but relocated following the storm. Additionally, the company projects an additional 230 new full- and part-time associates will be hired in the region over the next 90 days.
Through The Home Depot’s Rebuilding Hope & Homes program, the company has already donated more than $10 million in cash and materials to hurricane relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts in the Gulf following the 2005 hurricane season. The additional $750,000 will raise the company’s philanthropic support in the region to $11.1 million and will further accelerate rebuilding activity in communities along the coast. Investments have included:
The Home Depot’s approach to disaster response and rebuilding, characterized by engagement with local leaders and investment in local programs, reinforces its leadership position in embedded philanthropy and offers a model for business leaders to leverage community and non-profit partners to make a bigger difference in their communities. As an example, in Pass Christian, MS, The Home Depot met with community leaders within days following Hurricane Katrina to identify local needs and philanthropic opportunities. In partnership with those leaders, the company has invested more than $1 million over the subsequent eight months in a variety of recovery and rebuilding programs in Pass Christian, including:
Most recently, The Home Depot and KaBOOM! partnered with more than 500 volunteers from the local community and from organizations like Hands On Network, Americorps, and volunteer groups from around the country to build the town’s first permanent structure completed after Katrina – a 6,000 square foot playground, surrounded by dozens of newly planted trees and shrubs, picnic tables and benches. This community-led volunteer effort restored the town’s beloved War Memorial Park, giving residents hope for the future and pride in the progress they have made to restore the town they love.
Finally, as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to help communities mitigate disaster through preparation, The Home Depot is hosting hurricane preparation clinics at stores in the Gulf region throughout the approaching hurricane season. These clinics will teach customers how to protect their homes and families from the impact of hurricanes.
The Home Depot
The Home Depot® is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,061 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. Through its HD SupplySM businesses, The Home Depot is also one of the largest diversified wholesale distributors in the United States, with more than 900 locations in the United States and Canada offering products and services for building, improving and maintaining homes, businesses and municipal infrastructures. In fiscal 2005, The Home Depot had sales of $81.5 billion and earnings of $5.8 billion. The Company employs approximately 355,000 associates and has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as the No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer and the No. 13 Most Admired Corporation in America for 2006. The Home Depot’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters, visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.