Home Depot is opening a new distribution center in the Greater Toronto Area, targeting “pro customers” such as home builders, contractors, and remodellers who often work on larger projects and need large quantities of materials. The center will open in the first half of the year in Mississauga, near Pearson airport. The Home Depot is betting that its new centre will dramatically change the customer experience by reducing the scramble to fulfill large orders and allowing the company to stock additional products that were too large to fit into stores.

The facility will be about 600,000 square feet, with half dedicated to a flatbed delivery center and the other half serving as a “big and bulky” distribution center that can handle large items such as lumber, insulation, and roofing shingles. Through the new centre, customers will be able to request their orders be shipped on flatbed trucks directly to job sites, reducing store congestion. About 20 workers have started at the center already, but the team is expected to hit 30 in the coming weeks.

Reaping the rewards of the push toward pro will not come easy, as the company will have to scale its order management system and break through “entrenched” relationships between pros and independents. TD Cowen analyst Max Rakhlenko suggested that if anyone could do it, it would be the Home Depot given their access to capital, relationships, IT, and already working with these pros in a smaller capacity.

Source: Globe and Mail
Source: The Star