Oct 25, 2007

Commoditization Era Winding Down: Home Depot to Follow Target and Lowe's Lead

In a further sign that major U.S. retail players are putting significant strategic focus on improved customer experiences, Tru-Value is striving to make a major strategic overhaul of its 4,000 company-owned and independent stores. The focus is women, and Tru-Value is making an aggressive "catch up" move to stay relevant in the changing home improvement marketplace.

In a nod to standard practice today, the company is focusing on wider aisles, color-coded navigational signs, softer lighting, earth tones and an expanded array of decorative fashion items. Lyle Heidemann, chief executive of the Chicago-based cooperative, said that "the redesign should be more "female friendly," without alienating the traditional hardware customer...we finally have a retail perspective of what a store should be...in the past, we had a wholesale assortment to pick from...now, here's what we believe is a good retail assortment."

Rival Lowe's has been responding to an increasing role for women in designing and remodeling their homes for some time. They had learned from Target. And Frank Blake announced at a recent meeting of over 2,000 vendors that Home Depot would be following the same path.

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