Home Depot Learns the Hard Way: Chinese Not Do-It-Yourselfers

For decades, Atlanta-based Home Depot has focused on do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) — customers who buy products and then install them or set them up themselves. But in China, Home Depot has found that customers are not that interested in being DYIers. So, the chain is exiting the Chinese market.
As reports Laurie Burkitt reports in the Wall Street Journal: “Home Depot, in deciding to close all seven of its remaining big-box stores in China after years of losses, joins a growing list of retailers who have stumbled in China by failing to grasp the local culture and importing alien business models that are better suited to the U.S. or other countries. The largest U.S. home-improvement retailer, which entered China in 2006, has struggled to gain traction in a country where cheap labor has stunted the do-it-yourself ethos and apartment-based living leaves scarce demand for products like lumber. Home Depot conceded that it misread the country’s appetite for do-it-yourself products. ‘The market trend says this is more of a do-it-for-me culture,’ a Home Depot spokeswoman said of China.
Do you agree with Home Depot’s decision to exit China? What else could it have tried first?
Click the photo for more of Burkitt’s story.

Source: Imaginechina/Associated Press


This entry was posted in Global Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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