February 18, 2003

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Don Harrison
The Home Depot
(770) 384-5821
Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
-Governor Warner welcomes company’s new distribution center-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, will create 125 new jobs in Fredrick County. Through a $25 million investment, the company will open a 750,000-square-foot distribution center in the East Gate Industrial Park.

“I am pleased to welcome these new jobs and this great facility to Virginia. The Home Depot’s new distribution center will benefit from Virginia's strategic location on the mid-Atlantic seaboard,” said Governor Warner. “Recently the state’s Inland Port, linked to the Port of Virginia, has attracted a number of significant distribution facilities to this region. The Home Depot's investment is a great addition to this respected list of companies.”

The new center will distribute merchandise from countries outside the United States to more than 100 Home Depot stores in the Mid-Atlantic states. Most of the jobs will involve warehousing, but there will also be management and administrative positions available. The center is expected to open in fall 2003.

“The Fredrick County site was selected based on its overall cost, proximity to stores and the opportunity to cost-effectively process ocean containers through the Virginia International Terminals and the Virginia Inland Port,” said Lee Bandlow, Vice President of Distribution Services for The Home Depot. “This is a multi-million-dollar investment for Home Depot. Obviously, site selection and the opportunity to work with the right partners play critical roles in this kind of decision. Frederick County was able to provide all of the right criteria to meet our requirements.”

Governor Warner approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Fredrick County with the project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia Port Authority and the Winchester-Fredrick County Economic Development Commission also assisted in bringing Home Depot to Frederick County. The retailer qualifies for a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit, a statutory incentive available to all qualifying companies. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

Founded in 1978, The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer and the second largest retailer in the United States, with fiscal 2001 sales of $53.6 billion. The company employs approximately 250,000 associates and has 1,502 stores in 49 states, Puerto Rico, seven Canadian provinces, and Mexico. For the second year in a row, the company was named sixth Most Admired Company in America by Fortune magazine, which has also ranked it as America's Most Admired Specialty Retailer for nine consecutive years. The company’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:HD) and is included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor's 500 Index.


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