Home Depot Builds Catalog Business By Adding Home Decorators To Fold

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In a move intended to help bring true a promise made to investors in January that its direct-to-consumer business has the potential to become a billion-dollar operation, The Home Depot said yesterday it signed a definitive agreement to acquire home decor cataloger Home Decorators Collection.

Though a small percentage of Home Depot's total revenue, results from such direct-to-consumer efforts such as the company's Web site, homedepot.com, as well as a growing stable of catalogs, are promising, the company told investors in January. Home Depot's catalogs include Home Depot-branded specialty titles such as Outdoor Living and Holiday and Tools, as well as higher-end titles like 10 Crescent Lane and Paces Trading Company.

"The U.S. market for direct home decor retail spending is about $18 billion today, with growth rates approaching 20 percent annually," Home Depot Direct president Harvey Seegers said in a statement. "Our goal is to take advantage of this market by allowing customers to shop for a wide range of distinctive products from their neighborhood Home Depot Store, our mail order catalogs or the Internet and enjoy the convenience of delivery directly to their homes."

Buying Home Decorators Collection gives Home Depot access to 3.3 million names in its house file, adds approximately 65,000 new home decor products and 185 new global sourcing relationships. In addition, Home Depot expects to be able to take advantage of Home Decorators Collection's capabilities in catalog analytics, merchandising, sourcing and production.

"Home Decorators Collection is an ideal strategic and operational fit for Home Depot Direct by giving us immediate scale and core skills to expand our direct-to-consumer platform," Seegers said.

Gil Kemp, founder and president of Home Decorators Collection, will remain in his position.

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