Home Depot: On the Road to Becoming Customer-Friendly Again?

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR324
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : 2000-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : The Home Depot Inc.
Industry : Retail; Home improvement
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

The history of Home Depot dates back to 1978, when it was founded by Bernie Marcus (Marcus) and Arthur Blank (Blank), with the help of two others - Ken Langone (Langone), an investment banker, and merchandising expert, Pat Farrah. The partnership was then called "MB Associates"...

Age-Old Customer Service Culture

The company had believed in focusing on customer service from the very beginning. The founders, Marcus and Blank, themselves toiled on the shop floor and helped customers in every possible way...

Change of Management Style and Loss of Service Culture under Nardelli

Soon after joining, Nardelli decided to expand the business to other channels as he felt that the home improvement market was growing saturated in the US with the growth of many other players like Lowe's and Menards. Thus he wanted to diverge into contracting and building supply...

The Consequences of Nardelli's Changes

Analysts felt that watering down of the customer experience was evident at the stores, resulting in a decrease in customer traffic. With the service deteriorating, people started to grumble about the issue. They complained that the company had first started to spread out extensively to reach out to customers in every nook and corner of the country and then later when the customers had started to come to the stores, they had reduced the employees on the shop floor who would serve these customers...

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