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December 09, 2003

It's coming...

HOME Depot to open first store in US Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands - December 9 - Home Depot will open the doors to its first store in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Dec. 11. The 97,000-square-foot store will feature Home Depot’s latest floor plan, newly redesigned departments, a special home decor section and a garden center, as well as products that cater to the tastes of customers in the Virgin Islands, the company said.

"Like a store in Key West or Puerto Rico, the product mix will be different than what you find in the typical Home Depot store," Home Depot spokesman John Simley told HCN.

Similarly to U.S. and Canadian stores, the St. Thomas store will also offer "how-to" clinics, including "Do it Herself" workshops, specifically for female shoppers. Area contractors and neighboring residents who received direct-mail invitations will get a sneak preview of the store on Dec. 10.

The world’s largest home channel retailer decided the Virgin Islands was ripe for a Home Depot location given the demand here. "We had a lot of people that were shopping at stores in Florida and Puerto Rico and then transporting the products back to the Virgin Islands," Simley said. "There is a tremendous amount of new sales we can pick up by being in this market."

Among Home Depot’s 1,654 stores, the retailer operates eight stores in Puerto Rico.

Posted by afinta at December 9, 2003 11:54 PM

Comments

My feelings about this are pretty mixed. I am not a big fan of seeing these big corporate stores put the pressure on the small business man - but more importantly, the fact that all the profits are going off the island is a bigger problem. And the jobs - no matter what people may say - are just not that good (low wages and high turnover). It might be nice (especially if you are a home owner) to have a Home Depot here, but what it does for the island in the long run is up for grabs.

Posted by: Anthony at December 10, 2003 12:06 AM

Last night, I was invited to a soft opening limited to family and friends. Boy, do they have family and friends! The invite said to come at 6. We got there at 6:15 and there was hardly a parking space to be had! There were hundreds of people there. I know that thye did not expect that. Cash registers were humming! I bet they took in at least $100K last night!
I looked at people looking at items on shelves, that are available at stores on the island, like they have never seen things like that before! Shopping carts were full! They were buying like they won't see it again! I know the local stores will feel this for a while, until the novelty wears off, if it does. Sure makes it look easy to have one stop shopping, and not having to go to 10 places to get 3 items!

Posted by: Ronnie at December 10, 2003 10:29 AM