Bigger is better. This is the philosophy that got the founders of Home Depot excited about opening a different kind of hardware store, and its the philosophy that’s kept that vision going since 1978.

Home Depot is the largest home improvement chain in the United States, one third larger than its closest competitor, Lowe’s Home Improvement. This company sells construction products, home improvement products, tools, lumber, appliances, garden equipment, and services to customers through its more than twenty-two hundred stores. The company began in the metro Atlanta area in 1978 and is still based there today. It has seventy distribution centers across the United States and has expanded to all ten provinces of Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. 

This is a big box store with big ideas and a big annual revenue of almost one hundred and ten billion dollars each year. 

Orange Stand Out

Home Depot marked itself as a stand out early on with its trademark bright orange color. This company color is put on everything in the store, from the shelves and the signs to the equipment and the aprons that employees wear. This is part of a larger branding effort by Home Depot to made to unify its public image.

Conscious branding was always a part of the Home Depot concept. Founder Pat Farrah, Bernard Marcus, Ron Brill, and Arthur Blank set out to create a kind of home improvement and hardware store. Values including customer service, community partnership, and respect were central to the concept of Home Depot. 

Another key aspect of the big orange business was its size. On average, Home Depot stores are one hundred and five thousand square feet inside. They are organized in a warehouse style with a huge range of product offerings to meet the needs of both corporate contractors and individual homeowners. 

Constructing Controversy

Over its almost forty years in business, Home Depot has faced its fair share of controversy. 

The company settled a dispute with whistleblower Mark Davis in 2006 following allegations by Davis that he had been fired over refusing to participate in a chargeback scheme. Home Depot also changed its corporate policies as part of the settlement.

Following the Joplin, Kansas tornado in 2011 which created significant damage to a Home Depot store. Seven people died in the store. Despite negative press surrounding the deaths and the method of construction used in the store, which Home Depot is unique in among big box stores, the company refused to change its construction methods in the future.

Big Box Online

A major area that the Home Depot has made inroads in is in online sales. The company’s website garners over one hundred and twenty million visitors per year. Users of the site can have products shipped to their homes or they can be bought online and picked up in the store. 

Home Depot also offers customer support through five call centers in Arizona, Utah, and Georgia. 

Exclusive Brands

The Home Depot has a whole host of exclusive brands, including American Woodmark, Thomasville Furniture, Behr paints, Martha Stewart Living, and Chem-Dry. It also runs its own selection of in house brands like HDX and Husky tools.

Since coming onto the scene, Home Depot has consistently outstripped its competition in home improvement and construction sales.