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>> When Home Depot received a weather text alert last week that Harvey could turn into a Category 4 hurricane in Texas, the home improvement chain began moving merchandise, alerting stores, moving staff, and doing everything else it could to prepare for the storm. It sent trucks racing from a hurricane distribution center in Baytown, Texas, and a warehouse in Dallas, to beat Harvey, which made landfall late on Friday as the most powerful hurricane to hit the state in over 50 years, causing massive destruction.
Reuters retail correspondent.>> They actually are one of the only retailers who have hurricane focused distribution centers, they staff these warehouses with hurricane prep and recovery material even before the hurricane season begins and that happens every year. They've got preloaded trucks that carry these shipments and they wait for a storm to strike.
>> In order to maximize its resources, Home Depot also diverted employees from nearby markets to stores like this one in Corpus Christi. Products that are flying off the shelves here include materials that people would need in an emergency and later, to rebuild their homes.>> Chain saws, chain saw blades, chain saw chains, everything like that.
For the most part, generators, obviously.>> Texas is as an important stage for Home Depot accounting for 10% of the company's US revenue which is why all that planning could pay off.>> Obviously, there is an economic component there, which is even if stores are shut for a little while, they would still benefit from higher sales before and after the storms.
>> During Hurricane Sandy, which barreled into New Jersey's shoreline in October of 2012, Home Depot saw a $242 million boost in sales. During Harvey, Home Depot was not alone in its level of preparedness, rather Lowe's dispatched 700 trucks to the region, and even though 18 stores were shut as of Tuesday, some of them were still receiving stock in anticipation of opening over the next few days.