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Do it Best remodels Web site

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Doitbest.com, Do it Best’s consumer Web site, recently underwent remodeling “to stay in front of changing consumer shopping preferences,” the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op announced.

The new Web site features a more neutral color palette, less “clutter,” more functionality and a concentration on promoting products and services.

“We made the changes to help our member-owned stores meet the needs of their customers,” said Rob Schmelz, Do it Best’s e-commerce manager. Schmelz counted one notable addition as the “Ship-to-Store” feature.

“[It’s] a service we’ve provided for years, and now we’ve made it easier for consumers to find and use it on our Web site,” he said.

Schmelz said Do it Best is already seeing a significant increase in customers using the Ship-to-Store service, which allows them to pick up an online order at their local store, eliminating the shipping fee.

“The customers also benefit from having access to 65,000 items online, giving members the opportunity to expand their product offering,” Schmelz said.

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Home Depot DC closer to fruition in Alabama

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A Home Depot distribution center slated for Jefferson County, Ala., is closer to fruition, according to a report in the Birmingham News.

The approximately 650,000-square-foot facility is expected to employ “as many as” 400 people, according to the report.

The retailer is planning a similar facility in Monroe, Ohio, as well. There, Home Depot recently won approval for a $33.9 million, 657,000-square-foot facility.

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Home Depot rescinds bid for EnerBank

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot has ended its pursuit of EnerBank USA, a home improvement lender the Atlanta retailer had hoped to purchase with the goal of forming an industrial loan company (ILC).

Home Depot spokesman Ron Defeo said the retailer informed EnerBank of the decision last week.

“As we move into our fiscal 2008 year, this acquisition is no longer a part of our strategy as we are focusing all of our resources on our core retail business,” Defeo explained. “As of now, we have no plans to pursue this type of strategy.”

Currently, a moratorium is in effect by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) on approvals of new ILCs until Jan. 31. Home Depot is pulling out of its bid just as the waiting period set by the FDIC is due to expire next week

Most recently, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation that would stop retailers and other commercial companies from starting ILCs. The legislation would bar non-financial companies from owning or starting ILCs, a process both Home Depot and Wal-Mart have undertaken in the last year. Wal-Mart has since withdrawn its application to establish an ILC.

While critics of ILCs say the banks hurt competition by giving too many assets to too few large companies, proponents say ILCs foster competition by reducing fees and costs to consumers.

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