By Jessica Bowman – email
WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - More than 30 people will lose their jobs when The Home Depot in Waveland closes. Company officials say business has dropped at the store that opened as a hurricane relief center after Katrina.
Though business is down, some say they still rely on that store. News that Home Depot's hurricane recovery outlet in Waveland is closing, spread fast.
Contracting Foreman Scott Gilbert said, "Well, everything we buy for the job tool-wise, screw-wise, trim, nails, equipment, shop vacs, you name it, whatever we need convenient wise they are right down the road."
In eight weeks Scott Gilbert won't be able to purchase those items here because bright orange buggies will no longer exist.
"For the town you know it's going to cost them jobs you know which is not good for anybody in this economy," says Construction Superintendent Mark Herbert. "I really hate to see that happen to especially the people that have the jobs there."
At least 35 employees from the store will be laid off.
Scott Gilbert said, "It'll be very missed for the fact that you get a lot of one-on-one attention because it's a smaller store."
Home Depot officials would not speak with us on camera but corporate Spokesman Stephen Holmes said, "Obviously, closing the hurricane recovery outlet was a tough decision because it impacts our associates; and that means there will be some difficult days ahead of us."
This 40,000 square foot center opened in July 2006 to assist with Katrina recovery work. At that time, the plan was to keep the Waveland Home Depot open for one year, but the steady business of rebuilding convinced the company to keep it open longer. Now, the store is not meeting financial targets so the doors must close for good.
Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo told WLOX news he hopes this isn't the end for Home Depot in the city. Longo says the city would like to help the company find a permanent location in Waveland.
The Waveland Home Depot is in an old grocery store that survived the storm and is less than half the size of most Home Depot stores.