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Home Depot adds three DCs in Atlanta area

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Huge retailer preps for DIY fulfillment demand spike

Home improvement giant Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) announced on Tuesday that it will open three distribution centers in metro Atlanta over the next 18 months as it expands fulfillment and delivery services to professional contractors and what is expected to be an increasingly important do-it-yourself (DIY) customer base.

The largest of the three, a 657,600-square-foot facility, will open in Locust Grove, about 36 miles south of Atlanta, by the end of the year, the Atlanta-based company said. The distribution center will focus on store replenishment activities within the Southeast, Home Depot said. The company already operates 2.4 million square feet of distribution space in Locust Grove to fulfill orders delivered direct to customers.

In 2021, Home Depot will open a 615,000-square-foot location in Stonecrest, about 20 miles east of Atlanta, dedicated to making flatbed deliveries to professional and DIY customers. Bulk and oversized orders will be fulfilled through the center for same-day and next-day deliveries, the company said.

Home Depot also announced that it will open a 650,000-square-foot fulfillment center in East Point, about 7 miles south of Atlanta later in 2021. It will offer same-day and next-day deliveries aimed at its institutional business customers.

The DIY segment of the home improvement market is expected to take on greater prominence in the wake of government shelter-in-place mandates in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Consumers confined at home and with more time on their hands initiated DIY projects that they might not otherwise have undertaken had they followed normal work-life schedules. Demand for retail and logistics services supporting DIY projects is expected to grow significantly for the foreseeable future.

A recent survey by transport and logistics giant XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE:XPO) found that 55% of U.S. consumers and 56% of U.K. respondents worked on a DIY project during the pandemic. What’s more, the survey found that once consumers complete a DIY project, they typically start another one soon thereafter.

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.