From: Reuters
Published May 1, 2008 09:29 AM

Home Depot to close 15 stores, curb store openings

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Retailer Home Depot Inc <HD.N>, which has been battered by the slumping U.S. housing market, on Thursday said it plans to close 15 underperforming stores and said it will curb future store openings.

Home Depot said it will no longer pursue the opening of about 50 stores that had been in its new-store pipeline. New store spending will be cut by about $1 billion over the next three years.

The retailer said it expects a charge of about $586 million tied to the moves, with about $547 million pretax to be recognized in its first quarter. Excluding this charge, the company reiterated that per-share profit is expected to fall as much as 24 percent for the year.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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