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Our Opinion: A home for Home Depot

May 15, 2001

We are pleased to hear Home Depot is going to open a store in El Centro in the warehouse facility that housed HomeBase. It was sad when HomeBase closed its doors after a relatively short time. It was even sadder to see so many people lose jobs.

Home Depot will create up to 175 jobs, with most of those jobs filled by local people. That makes the news that much more exciting. This is a county that needs jobs and any time a large employer is willing to invest in the area it is reason to celebrate.

Home Depot comes to the Valley as a strong company continuing to expand. It is obvious the company has done studies that have indicated there is a market for a Home Depot in the Imperial Valley.

When HomeBase decided to close, it was a corporate decision, not one driven by the amount of business at the local store. We are convinced there is enough business locally to support Home Depot without wiping out such businesses as Imperial Stores, a locally based company with a home improvement division that has been in the Valley for decades.

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The Imperial Valley has to have more business and inevitably that will mean more competition. That might be a difficult concept for some to accept, but competition is a part of business.

Part of the reason Imperial Stores survived HomeBase being here was Imperial Stores offered much superior service. If it continues with such service, it will remain strong.

We look forward to the opening of Home Depot on July 26. We are confident it will thrive and when it does other large retail companies will see the Valley as an untapped market.

The opening of Home Depot will increase the cash flow through the Valley because it will mean more people will be employed and will have money to spend locally. It means people will not have to travel to San Diego and Yuma for home and garden products they can't get locally now. People will spend their money in the community in which they live.

Finally, we are pleased to see the warehouse that had housed HomeBase will not become a site of blight in El Centro. It is a prime location, visible from Interstate 8. We would hate to see the facility become nothing but a large canvas for graffiti.

Thanks to the arrival of Home Depot, it will become an important revenue source for the city and, maybe a catalyst for other businesses to move into the area.

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