"Home Depot Is Adding Jobs for First Time in 4 Years"
April 6 (Bloomberg) -- Home Depot Inc., the largest U.S. home-improvement retailer, is adding store jobs for the first time in four years in anticipation of a rebound in sales.
“We have already added to our payroll this year,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Blake said in an interview yesterday in Atlanta, where Home Depot is based. “As you have positive transaction growth, you need more associates to handle that in the stores. We are going to lean into our skis a little bit.”
Home Depot made the decision to boost hiring late last year, Blake said. Sales advanced more than the company had anticipated in the fourth quarter, helped by demand for paint, flooring and plumbing items. Home Depot forecast in February that revenue would advance 2.5 percent this year, marking the first increase since 2006.
The company, which had about 317,000 workers as of Jan. 31, eliminated jobs in each of the past three years, according to annual filings. Blake declined to say how many workers the company would add.
“We made a very conscious decision this year to hire into our projection,” said Blake, 60, who took charge in January 2007. “The fourth quarter was more positive than we anticipated so we revisited some of our planning assumptions toward the end of 2009.”
Home Depot and Lowe’s Cos. reported fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ expectations in February amid signs that the U.S. housing market may be stabilizing. Lowe’s, the second- largest home-improvement retailer, said spending was improving after consumers had curbed remodeling and major purchases during the recession.
“Blake is taking a calculated risk, betting that employment picks up as the economy recovers,” said Peter Jankovskis, who helps manage $1.8 billion in assets, including 72,000 Home Depot shares, at Oakbrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois. “That’s the normal pattern of recovery from a recession.”
Home Depot fell 11 cents to $32.55 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have climbed 13 percent this year, almost double the gain of Mooresville, North Carolina-based Lowe’s. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 5.2 percent.
Blake wouldn’t comment on Home Depot’s sales since Feb. 1. On April 2, the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers created more jobs in March than at any time in the past three years.
“That’s at least positive on jobs creation,” Blake said. “But then, as everybody is quick to add, that amount of job growth just keeps you even. We are still at a point where every positive data point is met by a bit of concern.”
Bonnie also took another $10,000 campaign contribution from Bill Pierson.
So I guess there is nothing wrong with taking $10,000 campaign contribution from Arkley.
After all, his is local.
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