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Retailer to Create About 1,000 Jobs at Industrial Facilities Designed to Improve Supply Chain

Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, plans to open three new distribution centers that would create about 1,000 new jobs in its home state as part of a massive investment to speed up deliveries to its customers.

The company that has its headquarters just northwest of Atlanta said Tuesday it would open the new industrial facilities in DeKalb, Fulton and Henry counties in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Home Depot, the largest home improvement retailer based on 2019 revenue of $110.2 billion, already employs more than 27,000 people in Georgia.

Home Depot said the largest of the three facilities, a 657,600-square-foot distribution center in Locust Grove in Henry County, Georgia, will focus on fast replenishment to stores in the Southeast and would be operational "in the next few months." CoStar News reported last month that Scannell Properties is building the rapid delivery center for Home Depot at Gardner Logistics Park's first phase.

Home Depot said the other two new Georgia distribution centers would be a 615,000-square-foot flatbed delivery center at 2182 Coffee Road in Stonecrest in DeKalb County and a 650,0000-square-foot fulfillment center at Camp Creek Business Center in East Point in Fulton County.

Home Depot's new distribution centers are part of the company's plan to invest $1.2 billion in its supply chain to expand its distribution network as online sales continue to grow. As part of the plan, Home Depot expects to open about 150 new supply chain facilities nationwide as it works to expand its same-day and next-day delivery options to 90% of the U.S. population.

These distribution facilities Home Depot is building across the nation have a range of formats, from those that handle small parcel packages to larger centers that specialize in big and bulky products, similar to how Amazon has different sized fulfillment centers around the country.

"Customers expect to shop whenever, wherever and however they want — whether they're buying a hammer or a pallet of pavers," Stephanie Smith, senior vice president of supply chain development and delivery at Home Depot, said in a company press release. "We're investing to meet the changing delivery needs of our DIY and Pro customers, whether they're at home, at their job sites or picking up in the store."

The office of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said the state plays a key role in Home Depot's supply chain. "Georgia is a hub for the company’s Southeast supply chain operations and its national delivery strategy," Kemp's office said in a press release it issued Tuesday.

The governor's office said Georgia competed for the new distribution centers but did not release information on what state or local incentives Home Depot would qualify for as it creates new jobs in the state.

Home Depot's expansion of its supply chain and distribution network is part of a national trend among retailers and other large companies, CoStar managing analyst David Kahn said.

"The importance of same-day and next-day delivery continues to drive decisions by major distributors throughout the country, and we’ve seen companies such as Home Depot expand to new, highly-efficient facilities throughout the country in order to better service their brick and mortar footprints," Kahn said in an email. "While e-commerce and same-day and next-day delivery is often focused on business-to-consumer operations, for Home Depot in particular, this is important for their business-to-business operations, too."

It makes sense for Home Depot to build new distribution facilities in the Atlanta area, because in addition to its home base, "it’s a fast-growing metro area within a fast-growing region," Kahn said in his email.

Home Depot has started initial hiring for about 600 employees for the rapid delivery center in Locust Grove that would open first out of the proposed three.

The company said it plans to open the new flatbed delivery center in Stonecrest in 2021 and the fulfillment operation in East Point in late 2021.

For the Record

Hank Evans represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development on the competitive projects for Home Depot. Evans worked in partnership with the Henry County Development Authority, the cities of Locust Grove, Stonecrest and East Point and Decide DeKalb, the Fulton County and Georgia Power.

by CoStar

Posted By - - 08/07/2020

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