“The Beginning - The Home Depot was founded in 1978 by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank. Along with investment banker Ken Langone and merchandising guru Pat Farrah, the founders’ vision of one-stop shopping for the do-it-yourselfer came to fruition when they opened the first two Home Depot stores on June 22, 1979, in Atlanta, Georgia. The first stores, at around 60,000 square feet each, were cavernous warehouses that dwarfed the competition and stocked 25,000 SKUs, much more than the average hardware store at that time. Empty boxes piled high on the shelves gave the illusion of even more product. From the start, associates were able to offer the best customer service in the industry, guiding customers through projects such as laying tile, changing a fill valve or handling a power tool. Not only did store associates undergo rigorous product knowledge training, but they also began offering clinics so customers could learn how to do it themselves. The Home Depot revolutionized the home improvement industry by bringing the know-how and the tools to the consumer and by saving them money. According to Bernie and Arthur, the customer has a bill of rights at The Home Depot, and this entitles the customer to the right assortment, quantities and price, along with trained associates on the sales floor who want to take care of customers. Their philosophy of customer service – “whatever it takes” – means cultivating a relationship with customers rather than merely completing a transaction. As Bernie says in Built from Scratch, “At the end of the day, we’re in the people business.”
A Story of Growth - The Home Depot is the fastest growing retailer in U.S. history. In 1981, the company went public on NASDAQ and moved to the New York Stock Exchange in 1984. The 1980s and 1990s spawned tremendous growth for the company, with 1989 marking the celebration of its 100th store opening. The company arrived in Canada with the acquisition of Aikenhead’s home improvement centers in 1994, and it began flying its flag proudly in Mexico in 2001 through the acquisition of Total HOME. In 2006, the company extended its reach to China by acquiring The Home Way, a 12 store chain. From the beginning, The Home Depot developed strategic product alliances directly with industry-leading manufacturers to deliver the most exclusive assortments to customers. Through a combination of national brands and proprietary products like Ryobi® tools, RIDGID® tools, BEHR® paint, LG® appliances, and Toro® and Cub Cadet® lawn equipment, the company sets the standard for innovative merchandise for the do-it-yourselfer and the professional contractor.
The Legend (The Home Depot Museum) - The Legend, our company museum, chronicles the history of The Home Depot and illustrates the values that set us apart. The Legend opened in 1999 at the Atlanta Store Support Center. It is primarily an internal educational tool for The Home Depot associates, their families, vendors and stockholders. The museum is open to groups on a limited basis by appointment only. Please contact us at (770) 433-8211 for more information.
We collect and archive materials from the early days of The Home Depot to the present. If you are a past or current associate of The Home Depot and have items you would like to add to our collection, please contact us at (770) 433-8211 for more information.”