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Home Depot Decides to Sell to U.S.

June 28, 2002

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ATLANTA (AP) _ The Home Depot Inc. has reversed its stance on doing business with the U.S. government, just a few weeks after reminding its stores not to sell to federal agencies.

The nation’s second-largest retailer behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the largest home improvement chain had cited the immense number of rules and paperwork covering federal contractors when it reiterated its no-government sales policy to store managers.

But the company decided Friday to reverse course after looking more closely at the requirements for being a federal contractor.

``Home Depot has always listened to its associates and customers and responded accordingly,″ chairman and chief executive Robert L. Nardelli said. ``This time is no different. It is the right thing to do for our company.″

A company with more than 50 employees and annual government sales of more than $50,000 is subject to affirmative-action reporting rules. Those require the company to file hiring records and other data _ a task which can lead to a mountain of expensive paperwork and legal fees.

It’s unclear how much Home Depot earned from government sales last year, but spokesman Jerry Shields has said it was ``not a significant amount of money as far as our business is concerned.″


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