Home Depot opens big-format store

Home Depot has opened a 211,000-sq.-ft. “superstore” in Anaheim Hills, Calif., which it describes as “almost twice the size of [a] regular Home Depot.” The unit, situated in an affluent area of Orange County, is an existing store that was remodeled. Among the changes are:

• Expanded bath fixture showroom, including a “shower gallery;”
• More kitchen cabinet options;
• Weber grill showroom;
• Year-round outdoor living showroom;
• Expanded appliance showroom with lifestyle vignettes;
• Expanded hard surface flooring and rug selection;
• Expanded decor showroom; and
• Expanded hardware department  

The store first opened in 2004 in a remodeled 205,000-sq.-ft. former Kmart. The store has multiple entrances, a will-call area for kitchen appliances and other big items, and a drive-through section in lawn and garden. At the time, Home Depot officials said it was not a prototype or pilot store. The same holds true for the latest Anaheim Hills incarnation.

But California has always been a testing ground for new Home Depot formats. The first Expo Design Center opened in San Diego, and in 2003, the Atlanta retailer opened a “his and hers” store in a Los Angeles suburb that featured light beige racking, shiny gray floors and wider aisles. High-end kitchen and bath vignettes greeted customers upfront, while the traditional orange warehouse atmosphere prevailed in back.