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Home Depot cuts 1,000 jobs


Home Depot is laying off 1,000 employees as part of a restructuring of select support functions and the closing of three store pilots. The restructuring also includes the creation of 200 human-resources-related jobs at headquarters.

Home Depot CEO Frank Blake alerted the company to the move in an e-mail to "all associates" yesterday. In it, he wrote: "This is not a case of the company cutting expenses in reaction to broader economic pressures or our business performance. Rather, we are making prudent structural changes where it makes business sense to consolidate some functions."


About 150 of the layoffs will occur at the retailer's headquarters in Atlanta. The three pilot stores closing are a clearance center in Austell, Ga.; a hurricane recovery store in Waveland, Miss.; and a small-format store in Wilson, N.C. All three of the pilot stores were described as underperforming. No other orange boxes are on the closing list, and no other consumer-facing positions will be lost.


The announcement comes almost exactly one year after its 2009 announcement of layoffs, restructuring, and closing of EXPO Design Centers. Last year's announcement was significantly more painful for employees -- 5,000 jobs cut.


The restructuring involves centralizing human resources, pooling the support structure for finance and streamlining real estate and construction functions. As part of the restructuring, the company will be creating 200 jobs in Atlanta at the company's Retail Staffing Service Center, according to a company spokesman.


In his note to the company, Blake pointed to progress in 2009 as well as the need to continue to improve.


"Over the past year, we have made great strides in improving many aspects of our business and are performing well to plan," he wrote. "However, we must continually look for ways to increase our productivity and efficiency, while also investing in our stores and improving customer service."


His note also detailed the benefits to be awarded to associates who are losing their jobs, including minimum severance of 60 days pay.

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