HD expounds on plans for Mexico, Latin America
Home Depot executives, in two published interviews, discussed the Atlanta retailer’s views on expansion south of the U.S. border and beyond.
Ricardo Saldivar, chairman Home Depot Mexico, told El Financiero that the Mexican division expects to end this year with 100 stores in 58 cities. Currently there are 94 stores in Mexico. More than nine out of 10 Home Depot store openings take place in Mexico, Saldivar said.
Carol Tome, Home Depot’s longtime CFO, was more limited in her view of global expansion. In an interview with the Atlantic Journal Constitution, Tome said: "If we look around the world, there aren’t very many places in the world that are very interesting" for expansion, citing the challenges of logistics, currency rates, times zones and cultural differences.
But Home Depot hasn’t ruled out Central America, Tome said, despite the home improvement chain’s failed attempt to operate stores in Chile and Argentina in the late 1990s. Home Depot does have its eye on Brazil, although there are no immediate plans to open stores there.
Tome also said the company is studying India, a large market that cannot be overlooked. In China, where Home Depot recently closed its remaining big-box formats, the company will keep two pilots open: a paint and flooring store and another unit focused on its Home Decorators Collection. The company has short-term leases and specific milestones for these test stores, she said.
Tool for affordable water conservation
The makers of WaterDex say they are addressing a real home improvement problem: excessive outdoor watering.
Landscaping is a big drain on water resources across the country, typically accounting for 60% to 70% of residential water consumption. To make matters worse, homeowners typically overwater their lawns by 20% to 50%.
A California company claims to have developed a simple, low-cost irrigation controller that helps eliminate outdoor water waste. The device, called WaterDex, overrides existing residential irrigation controllers and provides consumers with an easy-to-use dial that can be set on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to zip code-specific watering indexes, which are compiled using historic and realtime evapotranspiration data.
Developed by Irvine-based Rockrose Technology, WaterDex has gotten the attention of the organizers of the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition, who have invited Rockrose co-founder Matt Davenport to give a formal presentation on the WaterDex product during the Oct. 3 to 5 conference in Las Vegas.
The conference is organized by the Southern Nevada Water Authority in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program and other public and private partnerships.
"WaterDex not only has the ability to help consumers reduce their water bills, but if enough people use the product it could significantly reduce water waste at a time when water agencies across the country are facing increasing shortages," Davenport said.
Water agencies in California and across the United States have been encouraging consumers to purchase weather sensitive irrigation controllers because overwatered lawns are the single biggest source or residential water waste.
But smart controllers have not been widely used by consumers because they are too expensive and too complicated to use. The typical smart controller costs $200 or more, while WaterDex retails for less than half that amount.
WaterDex is easier to use than either standard or smart irrigation controllers because it overrides both kinds of devices with a simple and ease to use dial. Consumers simply visit WaterDex.com and enter their zip code to find the appropriate watering index setting for their WaterDex dial. WaterDex then turns the sprinklers on and off on its own, based on the selected watering index setting.
EasyTurf nurtures recycled infill
EasyTurf, the landscape arm of sports-turf giant FieldTurf, introduced an environmentally responsible, 100% recycled infill option in what the company calls an “evolution of the artificial grass system.”
Using advanced techniques and equipment from FieldTurf’s manufacturing plant in Calhoun, Ga., used turf is being transformed into an infill option. The cutting-edge process applies to any synthetic grass product and bolsters EasyTurf’s status as the industry leader in eco-friendly landscape products.
“As the first company to successfully remove and recycle an entirely synthetic football field, we clearly demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship,” said EasyTurf president David Hartman. “We are proud to provide both the most superior draining and realistic synthetic grass, and increase our ability to preserve natural resources in numerous ways.”
The company promotes artificial turf for commercial, residential, municipal and military landscape. A fire retardant series is also now available. Without the use of heavy metals, FieldTurf has applied a proprietary formula to create a flame-retardant system that exceeds any flame test or building code. The FlameGuard Infill consists of patent-pending pellets that quickly extinguish flame spread and can be produced using 100% recycled turf, available now in limited quantities.
FieldTurf is part of Tarkett Sports, a division of the Tarkett Group.