Shopper Marketing - May 2016 - 32


PROGRAMS

Home Depot Drives
Competitive Advantage
Through Localization
By Patrycja Malinowska

New York - The Home Depot is one of many
large retailers who face challenges in knowing what each of their stores' shoppers want.
How can the retailer take advantage of scale
but also reap the benefits of localized assortment? "When I joined Home Depot in 1993,
we were opening up a store every 48 hours,"
said Aaron Surasky, Home Depot's senior director of assortment planning and analysis.
"Do you think we could possibly have had the
same kind of localized assortment then as we
had in the very first store in the suburbs of Atlanta in 1979? It would have been impossible.
"Our challenge today - my passion - is, how
do I take 1,975 stores and turn them into 1,975
neighborhood stores?" Surasky said during
a presentation at the National Retail Federation's Retail's Big Show in January. "How do I
go from growing sales by growing square feet
to growing sales per square foot?"
The Home Depot has been working to
make its assortment as localized as possible
by utilizing the help of new-age planning
tools from Atlanta-based retail tech firm Predictix, while also retaining the human touch
by listening to shoppers and employees. "Our
chief merchandising officer has made this a
cornerstone of what he's going to stand for at
32

y SHOPPER MARKETING MAY 2016

Home Depot stocks primarily electric water
heaters in rural areas, while mostly gas ones in
cities. Other areas see both types.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shopper Marketing - May 2016

Contents
Shopper Marketing - May 2016 - Intro
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