Home Depot's Expo Heads for the Exit
Another big retailer is bowing out of the game. This time it's Home Depot's Expo Design Centers. The company is closing all of its 34 Expo stores, including our own Bethesda, Columbia and Fairfax locations.
These stores were a souped-up version of Home Depot's bath and kitchen departments, where you could find art deco pedestal sinks, modern wall-mounted toilets, kitchen countertops made of unusual types of wood like African teak or natural stone, showerheads with lighting effects and a toilet hidden within a walnut cabinet. But the company said the business "has not performed well financially and is not expected to anytime soon." A company press release went on to say that "the demand for big-ticket design and décor projects has declined in the current economic environment."
I never could bring myself to pay several hundred dollars for a bathroom faucet when I could get a similar one for around $100. But plenty of friends, as well as interior designers who I've interviewed for Shop To It, say it's a great place for high-end, unique kitchen and bath items. If anything, it was a nice place to get ideas.
So the question I had when I heard the news was, when is the sale? Inventory will get marked down by at least 10 percent starting today, according to Sarah Molinari, a Home Depot spokeswoman. A liquidation company is handling the sale so details on what exactly would be discounted and by how much is hard to know, she added. Many of its luxury manufacturers will not want their items discounted, so the sales could be spotty.
So will Expo be missed? Where do you find stuff for your bath and kitchen projects? Who has good tile and where are the best kitchen cabinets? Please post a comment below and answer our poll while you're at it.
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