Home Depot Takes Manhattan

Sep 09, 2004

By George Anderson

A piece in The New York Times says you can, “Call it the kinder, gentler Home Depot. But it’s still a hardware store on steroids.”

What it is, New Yorkers will discover tomorrow, is the first Home Depot to be built in Manhattan and it’s not like any other you’ll see, according to the company or the Times.

“The customers in New York are more sophisticated and demanding, so we had to take it up a notch,” said Christine McVeigh, project director of Home Depot’s development team.

The new location encompassing 105,000-square-feet in three-stories is located at 28-40 West 23rd Street, near Fifth Avenue in the Chelsea section of town. The store cost $20 million to build and in addition to the normal features of Home Depot, it will include a doorman, a concierge, an atrium and an elevator.

The store will stock 20,000 different products and will accept special orders for another 80,000 items.

According to a company press release, customers of the Manhattan Home Depot “will find nine paint- mixing stations, the broadest selection of decorative cabinet hardware in the city and high-end appliances like GE Monogram. A specialized showroom will help customers visualize complete home improvement projects while working closely with design experts to plan and realize their dreams.”

“The new store will offer tool rental with delivery and pick up throughout Manhattan and an expanded key-making and locksmith service. Free how-to clinics will be offered three times each day in a state-of-the-art learning area that includes plasma screens. In addition, kiosks located throughout the store will enable customers to identify projects and print step-by-step instructions and a list of needed project materials.”

Moderator’s Comment: Will Home Depot be successful in Manhattan? What learning from this store do you think it will be able to take to its operations

Dana Telsey, a retail analyst for Bear Stearns said Home Depot will face unique challenges in the Big Apple.”Manhattan is a bit of a different animal,”
she told the Times. “Costs of occupancy and payroll are greater, and the challenges of the Manhattan landscape include traffic, the times that people shop, getting it all
into the store and getting it all out to the customers.”

In the end, however, Ms. Telsey said that Home Depot would not be coming to Manhattan if its experience in the boroughs and suburbs of New York had not
shown the company could make it here.

The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is certainly happy to have Home Depot build a store here with a second one planned.

“The Home Depot’s new flagship location in Manhattan was custom built for the borough’s residents, and Manhattanites most certainly will benefit from this
first major home improvement retail store,” he said in a statement released by Home Depot. “The Home Depot has created more than 300 jobs for New Yorkers — with 300 more to be
added when the second store opens later this year. I want to thank The Home Depot — a great new neighbor — for its commitment to the community and dedication to improving everything
it touches.”

George Anderson – Moderator

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