Home Depot is rather unique among the big-box store retailers, since it has not only survived in the age of the Amazon-effect, but thrived. As CNBC reported, stock prices have grown 135 percent over the last five years.
Holding on to that strength has become priority-one for the nation’s largest hardware and home improvement chain, which explains their going all out for technology professionals.
According to pymnts.com, the binge on tech professionals is part of a larger $11 billion multi-year investment plan to consolidate its gains in brick-and-mortar retail over competitors in physical-world firms like Lowe’s — and, to a less extent, ACE — and the emerging online competitive forces like Amazon. As of right now, Home Depot employs about 2,800 technology professionals.
The incoming class will be made up of software engineers, UX designers, network engineers and product managers — many of whom will make their professional homes in the chains’ Atlanta, Austin and Dallas technology offices.
Other elements of the $11 billion initiative includes a streamlined and enhanced digital design for online shopping, a larger warehouse footprint, better delivery services and capital improvements to store locations to make them more easily navigable and user-friendly.
Matt Carey, Home Depot’s chief information officer, noted that though Home Depot’s tech investment may be a bit short of what Amazon is doing, the company is delivering what it needs to for a very specific consumer base. “I don’t run their roadmap; I run my roadmap,” Carey said of Amazon in a Recode interview. “The roadmap we have is one our customers are encouraging us to go execute on. I’m not limited by anything other than time right now.”