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The Home Depot Announces $57 Million Investment To Support Gulf Coast Rebuilding Efforts

Company to Re-Open Two New Orleans-Area Stores Completely Destroyed by Hurricanes

New Investment Increases Total Commitment in Region to $75 Million

Following the most devastating hurricane season in American history, The Home Depot(R), the world's largest home improvement retailer, announced today that it is investing $57 million to support rebuilding efforts throughout the Gulf region.

Combining capital construction with philanthropic support, this investment will create jobs, drive economic activity, and support local community efforts to rebuild homes and offer hope for the future.

The bulk of the new $57 million commitment will support capital projects in the region. The company will spend more than $13 million to re-open two New Orleans-area stores, in Chalmette and along I-10 in New Orleans, that were completely destroyed. An additional $43 million will support the opening of new The Home Depot stores, including a recently announced site in downtown New Orleans near the Superdome, a new site in East Slidell, LA, and other sites along the Gulf Coast.

The Home Depot is also expanding its philanthropic commitment to the region by donating an additional $750,000 in funding to support the following community rebuilding efforts:

  • Affordable housing development and construction of a new athletic field
    house in Pass Christian, Miss.
  • Materials and product for home repairs and supplies for housing
    volunteers in Biloxi, Miss.
  • Construction of 20 playgrounds over two years throughout the Gulf
    region with its national nonprofit partner KaBOOM!, including 10 builds
    in five days in August 2006 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of
    Hurricane Katrina.

With these new commitments, The Home Depot adds to earlier investments in the region of more than $10 million in philanthropic support and more than $7 million in capital funding. In total, the company will have invested more than $75 million dollars into the Gulf community and anticipates significant future investments in the region as it scales its business to respond to community rebuilding needs.

"The Home Depot has been working to help support and rebuild communities in hurricane-prone areas for more than 20 years," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president & CEO of The Home Depot. "The 2005 hurricane season had a devastating impact on millions of people and hundreds of communities. We have created a model for responding to community needs following a disaster - one that is holistic, community-driven and sustainable over time. As a business with the resources and know-how to support these efforts, we have a responsibility to help."

Capital Investments

The Home Depot has previously committed $7.1 million in capital construction to re-open existing stores and to establish new temporary locations in Gretna, La., and Pass Christian, Miss. The additional $56.3 million commitment described above will increase the company's business investment in the Gulf region to $63.4 million.

The 2005 hurricanes impacted close to 80 Home Depot stores, some of which experienced significant damage. Two stores - I-10 and Chalmette - were completely destroyed and were temporarily re-opened in modified tent formats outside the previous Home Depot locations. Re-opening these stores in full The Home Depot layouts will enable the company to meet the extraordinary needs of homeowners for building materials, tarps, appliances, generators, roofing, flooring and other products as they continue repairing and rebuilding their homes.

Employment

As a result of The Home Depot's commitment to sustaining its business operations and responding to community needs in the region, the company has created 1,240 net new jobs as stores re-opened and increased operations to respond to brisk customer demand in the region. The company also offered transfers to other The Home Depot stores for nearly 600 associates who had worked and lived in the Gulf region but relocated following the storm. Additionally, the company projects an additional 230 new full- and part-time associates will be hired in the region over the next 90 days.

Philanthropy/Corporate Volunteerism

Through The Home Depot's Rebuilding Hope & Homes program, the company has already donated more than $10 million in cash and materials to hurricane relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts in the Gulf following the 2005 hurricane season.

The additional $750,000 will raise the company's philanthropic support in the region to $11.1 million and will further accelerate rebuilding activity in communities along the coast. Investments have included:

  • Housing development and environmental protection ($2.6 million)
  • Immediate relief and response ($1.6 million)
  • Volunteer activation and management ($1.7 million)
  • Supplier product donations ($1.5 million)
  • KaBOOM! playground builds ($1 million)
  • Recovery and human service programs ($625,000)
  • Assistance to The Home Depot associates through The Homer Fund
    ($2.1 million)

The Home Depot's approach to disaster response and rebuilding, characterized by engagement with local leaders and investment in local programs, reinforces its leadership position in embedded philanthropy and offers a model for business leaders to leverage community and non-profit partners to make a bigger difference in their communities. As an example, in Pass Christian, MS, The Home Depot met with community leaders within days following Hurricane Katrina to identify local needs and philanthropic opportunities. In partnership with those leaders, the company has invested more than $1 million over the subsequent eight months in a variety of recovery and rebuilding programs in Pass Christian, including:

  • Cash and supplies for the Salvation Army's local relief operation
  • Protection and restoration of historic live oak trees damaged by the
    storm
  • Development of new zoning codes that will shape how the downtown
    commercial district is rebuilt
  • Building and stocking a new community "tool bank," to support
    volunteers working to repair and rebuild local homes and structures
  • Construction and financing for new affordable housing units
  • Construction of a new business incubator

Most recently, The Home Depot and KaBOOM! partnered with more than 500 volunteers from the local community and from organizations like Hands On Network, Americorps, and volunteer groups from around the country to build the town's first permanent structure completed after Katrina - a 6,000 square foot playground, surrounded by dozens of newly planted trees and shrubs, picnic tables and benches. This community-led volunteer effort restored the town's beloved War Memorial Park, giving residents hope for the future and pride in the progress they have made to restore the town they love.

Finally, as part of the company's ongoing commitment to help communities mitigate disaster through preparation, The Home Depot is hosting hurricane preparation clinics at stores in the Gulf region throughout the approaching hurricane season. These clinics will teach customers how to protect their homes and families from the impact of hurricanes.

The Home Depot
The Home Depot(R) is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,061 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. Through its HD Supply(SM) businesses, The Home Depot is also one of the largest diversified wholesale distributors in the United States, with more than 900 locations in the United States and Canada offering products and services for building, improving and maintaining homes, businesses and municipal infrastructures. In fiscal 2005, The Home Depot had sales of $81.5 billion and earnings of $5.8 billion.

The Company employs approximately 355,000 associates and has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as the No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer and the No. 13 Most Admired Corporation in America for 2006. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.

Source: The Home Depot
ATLANTA, May 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --


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