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Home Depot to lay off 1,000 workers, shutter three stores

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Atlanta On the heels of Monday’s announcement that Sam’s Club would be slashing 11,000 jobs, Home Depot said Tuesday it is cutting 1,000 jobs and closing three underperforming pilot stores.

The stores, affecting about 100 jobs, include a small-format store in Wilson, N.C.; a temporary hurricane-recovery outlet in Waveland, Miss.; and a clearance outlet in Austell, Ga.

About 900 other jobs being cut relate to the company consolidating its human resources, finance, real estate and construction functions, including centralizing its human-resources structure back to Atlanta headquarters instead of having a field-team structure by districts, according to company spokesman Ron Defeo.

Defeo said that Home Depot no longer needs as big of a staff for real estate since it has slowed its store openings. As part of the restructuring, the company will add 200 jobs in Atlanta.

"This is not a case of the company cutting expenses in reaction to broader economic pressures or our business performance," CEO Frank Blake wrote in a memo to employees. "Rather, we are making prudent structural changes where it makes business sense to consolidate some functions."

Home Depot said it has no plans to close its big-box stores. The company has more than 300,000 employees and 2,245 stores worldwide, including 1,976 in the United States.

Home Depot and other home-improvement retailers have faced sales declines from the long-standing construction slowdown and consumers holding back on do-it-yourself projects amid worry over jobs and home values. Although the U.S. housing market is stabilizing after a nearly three-year decline, home prices remain far below their peak.

Home Depot's profit is about even with last year for the first nine months of the fiscal year, a period that ended Nov. 1, while revenue is down about 9%.

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