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Home Depot board member resigns

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot has announced board member Larry Johnston has resigned from its board of directors, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Johnston departed the board because of an “increasing demand on his time.” According to the filing, “Johnston did not cite any disagreement on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices.”

Johnston formerly served as chairman of the board, CEO and president of Albertsons until June 2006. The company’s banners include Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Albertsons-Osco and Super Saver.

Prior to joining Albertsons in April 2001, Johnston spent 28 years at General Electric in a variety of leadership assignments. In his last role at GE, he served from 1999 to 2001 as president and CEO of GE Appliances.

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November housing starts show sharp decline

BY HBSDEALER Staff

November housing starts declined 3.7 percent from last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,187,000, compared to the revised October estimate of 1,232,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The figure represents a 24.2 percent drop from November 2006.

The hardest-hit region was the West, which showed a 28.3 percent decline year over year. That compared to declines of 27.4 percent in the South, 16.3 percent in the Northeast and 11.0 percent in the Midwest. The only positive regional numbers came in the South, where total starts increased 0.3 percent over last month, and single-unit starts increased 5.4 percent over last month.

Housing units authorized by building permits in November declined 24.6 percent year over year to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,152,000. This is 1.5 percent below the revised October rate of 1,170,000.

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Home Depot meets YouTube in viral marketing push – UPDATED

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot concluded a unique Internet-based promotion this week, tapping user-generated content to promote DIY goods and services consumers can find at Home Depot stores.

The page drew 264 video entries for a chance to win a $25,000 Home Depot holiday gift card. Twenty second-prize winners will receive a $200 gift card.

The promotion also received significant consumer news coverage across the country. Additionally, as of Dec. 12, the consumer-produced YouTube videos had collectively been watched 80,000 times.

The winning video, titled “The Long’s Rap,” featured a Houston, Texas family rapping about the retailer, with lines such as “Home Depot – it’s orange not yellow.” Second place winners included titles such as “The Home Depoverture” and “Angelos and Jason’s Ho, Ho, Home Depot Contest.”

This is Home Depot’s first attempt at a YouTube-based viral marketing campaign.  To view the video entries visit www.homedepot.com/youtube.

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