Home Depot to close 40 of its home improvement stores

Home Depot plans to eliminate 7,000 jobs while closing four dozen stores under its smaller home improvement brands as the recession continues to batter the nation's housing market.

The nation's biggest home improvement retailer said Monday the cuts will affect about 2 percent of its 300,000 workers and cause the Atlanta-based chain to record a $532 million pretax charge, most of which will be recorded in the fourth quarter.

Most of the cuts affect workers at Home Depot's 34 Expo Design Centers, five YardBIRDS, two Design Centers and HD Bath, a bath remodeling business with seven sites.

Those stores will close in the next two months.

Five Expo stores in Florida will close, including one in Davie and one in Miami. Liquidation sales will begin Tuesday and stores will remain open until merchandise has been liquidated.

Home Depot is bringing in Gordon Brothers to help with the liquidation, but EXPO employees will continue working during the liquidation process, said Craig Fishel, a Home Depot spokesman.

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