CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Home Depot coming to Gaylord

GAYLORD – Within the next few months, ground will be broken for a new Home Depot store in Gaylord.

The site, east of Wal-Mart on M-32, is currently a private campground and is located behind a former auto dealership and a muffler business. It’s also about one mile east of the new Carter Lumber store now under construction. The 131,000 square-foot building, including a garden center, will create 170 to 180 full- and part-time jobs. The store plans a spring 2001 opening.

“Each store typically employs between 120 and 200 people,” according to Jami Buck, spokesperson with The Home Depot’s corporate office in Atlanta, Ga. “We get at least three times that number applying each time we open a new store. People are familiar with our name now.”

The Home Depot hires from experienced plumbers to inexperienced cashiers.

“Everyone receives training that’s ongoing” she explained. “Trends are changing constantly and we pay people based on their experience.”

Each store stocks approximately 40,000 to 50,000 different kinds of building materials, home improvement supplies and lawn and garden products. The stores have a design center staffed by professional designers who offer free consultations for projects, from lighting to computer-assisted designs for kitchens and bathrooms. They also offer truck and tool rental, home delivery, free potting of plants and free workshop classes.

Wolohan Lumber Co. in Gaylord doesn’t expect the new Home Depot to have much of an impact on their business, according to Dave Honaman, senior vice president. “Our business has been changing, and our primary focus is builders, professional remodelers and consumers who are doing large projects, like a kitchen or bath remodeling or a deck, garage or room addition,” he said. “We have a different focus than the ‘big box retail outlets’ like Home Depot. It will obviously have a significant impact on hardware store and outlets that sell the same hard lines as they do.”

Home Depot will also be also be opening next spring just outside of Petoskey next to Wal-Mart. According to company spokesperson Tom Gray, the sprawling 117,000 square foot-store and garden center will employ around 160 people.

Home Depot will also open a slightly larger store north of Cadillac this July. BIZNEWS

By Danielle Horvath