August 5, 2020 - Retail Trend Points
The three distribution centers (DCs) Home Depot will open over the next 18 months in Georgia are being designed and built to serve the different needs of in-store customers, online shoppers, do-it-yourself (DIY) consumers, professional contractors (Pros) and institutional or business customers.
The 657,600-square-foot distribution center set to open early next year in Locust Grove, GA, will focus on providing fast replenishment for stores in the Southeast.
The “flatbed delivery center” scheduled to open in Stonecrest in 2021 is located near a railroad line and will accept oversized, bulky and heavy materials delivered by flat-bed trucks and rail cars. The DC will be designed to deliver Pro and DIYer orders to job sites or homes on a same-day or next-day basis.
Home Depot opened its first two flatbed delivery centers this year in Dallas and Baltimore, according to CNBC. Stephanie Smith, SVP of Supply Chain Development and Delivery for Home Depot, told CNBC that these facilities were already planned or under construction when the pandemic hit — and produced a spike in e-Commerce sales — but that the crisis underscored the importance of having a strong and flexible supply chain.
“We like to say that retail has changed more in the past four years than in our 40-year history,” said Smith. “COVID has even brought this more to light.”
While Pro and DIY customers comprise less than 5% of Home Depot’s total customer base, they are responsible for 45% of the company’s sales, Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). “It’s very, very important that we have a strategy for these customers.”
The order fulfillment operation opening in East Point in late 2021 will offer same-day and next-day delivery of products primarily ordered by institutional business customers for maintenance, repair and operational needs. It will also act as a staging area for furniture and appliance deliveries.