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Opening date set for Home Depot

Retailer looking to fill about 70 jobs at new store

Posted: Monday, June 11, 2007

With a grand opening just weeks away, Home Depot is still looking to fill jobs at the new 100,000 square-foot building.

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The local branch of the retail chain is scheduled to open June 28 with a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting to be attended by city and business leaders, said Kathryn Gallagher, public relations manager for Home Depot's western division.

The outlet in Lemon Creek was originally slated to open in February, but construction was delayed largely because the weather.

Home Depot will employ between 130 and 150 people, depending on the numbers of part-time and full-time workers, said manager Troy Wolfinbarger.

The store needs roughly 70 more employees to fill a variety of entry-level positions from cashier to designer, he said.

Wolfinbarger declined to discuss pay specifics but said, "I can't think of anybody we have hired under $10 an hour."

Benefits will be offered to full-time and part-time employees, and the store is "opening with Alaskan wages," he said. That means pay will be comparable to that of Home Depot employees in Anchorage.

A full-time employee at $10 an hour would make an annual salary of $20,800.

Despite the abundance of jobs available in Juneau - from seasonal tourism work to positions at the expanded Fred Meyer or the upcoming Wal-Mart, hiring has been relatively easy for Home Depot.

The new store's impact on Juneau's home repair and hardware retail market remains to be seen.

"I think a lot of people are sort of holding their breath on that one," said Lance Miller, executive director of the Juneau Economic Development Council.

Allison Garrison, an employee at Ace Hardware in Hoonah, said the Home Depot will be "just another option" and did not see it as a threat.

"They are more likely to get it here because it is already here when they need it," she said.

She said that customer service is the important factor. While Home Depot might be larger, it cannot guarantee better service, said Garrison.

Home Depot is a Georgia-based home improvement retail chain with 2,104 locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It has roughly 355,000 employees, more than 1,000 of them in Alaska.

• Contact Brittany Retherford at brittany.retherford@juneauempire.com or 523-2276.



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