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Home Depot puts a lid on new-store openings: WSJ

A customer wheels a cart through a Home Depot store in Washington February 20, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A customer wheels a cart through a Home Depot store in Washington February 20, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) - Home Depot Inc is putting a lid on new-store openings and focusing its expansion efforts on e-commerce, which presents some logistical challenges for a retailer that sells a lot of bulky materials, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"The retail model forever was to increase sales through opening additional units, but as you added stores to a finite group of households, each store becomes less profitable," Home Depot Chief Executive Frank Blake told the Journal in an interview.

"So the decision was made to stop opening additional boxes." (http://r.reuters.com/fab68v)

Under Blake, Home Depot closed smaller, secondary stores and upgraded service and products in its core "big box" stores to win back market share from Lowe's Companies Inc .

The world's largest home improvement chain has also benefited from its slower expansion strategy.

Home Depot was not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

(Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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