Home Depot to purchase Kmart locations, expand in China

Home Depot recently announced that in addition to buying out old Kmart buildings for new Home Depot stores, the business is also expanding its operations to China.

The retailer said June 4 it will buy as many as 24 stores from Kmart for up to $365 million. The exact number of stores, their locations and final price will be discussed over the next two months. According to Kmart, its stores will be converted to Home Depots quickly after the sale. In 2003, Kmart closed 600 of its retail locations.

In addition to its Kmart renovations, Home Depot plans to build 175 new stores this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company also announced June 7 that Bill Patterson, who previously headed Home Depot’s central store division, has been named president of Home Depot Asia. Patterson said in a statement that the company, which has more than 1,640 retail stores in North America, will attempt an expansion in Asia like it did in Mexico. In 2001, Home Depot acquired a chain of stores in Mexico and then built from the ground up. Patterson said his company is focusing on China’s home improvement sector because of the recent construction boom and because of limited competition.