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The impact of big box internationalization on a national market: a case study of Home Depot Inc. in Canada

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Abstract:

The Home Depot Inc. is the world's largest home improvement retailer. In 2001, the company generated US$53.6 billion in retail sales from a property portfolio of 1333 stores. In the mid-1990s, after a period of rapid expansion in the US, Home Depot Inc. developed an internationalization strategy and entered the Canadian market. This paper explores the impact that the US-owned Home Depot Inc. has had on the home improvement landscape of Canada. The evidence provided illustrates how a relatively small number of foreignowned big box stores can dominate local retail markets, with the Home Depot Canada having gained a considerable national market share. The paper provides a detailed example of the growth of Home Depot within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Canada's largest market. It reveals the significant negative impact of Home Depot's big box format development on traditional street-front and mall-based home improvement retailers. The paper concludes by discussing potential growth strategies, in particular, Home Depot's expansion from major metropolitan to small town markets.

Keywords: Big box retailing; Canada; Home Depot; home improvement; internationalization

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0959396032000065364

Affiliations: Research Associate, Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity; Ryerson Polytechnic University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario Canada, M5B 2K3;Ext. 7200;, Tel: +416 979 5000, Fax: +416 979 5378, Email: thernand@research.ryerson.ca

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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