Thursday, December 14, 2006

Home Depot Comes To China

Home Depot to Buy Protégé Retailer in China
A decade ago, Home Depot began training executives at a small Chinese retailer, called HomeWay, on how to sell screwdrivers and shower heads. One tip was to paint its stores orange, Home Depot’s signature color.

Now, Home Depot is buying its retail protégé in a move that will give the giant American chain its first stores in the fast-growing Chinese market.

Home Depot said yesterday that it had agreed to purchase HomeWay, which has 12 outlets in cities like Beijing and Qingdao, for an undisclosed amount. People briefed on the deal said the purchase price was about $100 million.

With the acquisition, Home Depot will become the latest American big-box chain to enter China, a country that, despite its size and growing middle class, remains largely untapped by foreign merchants.


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