Closeout pricing is expected to appear on merchandise at the Alamo Yardbirds store after an announcement today by owner Home Depot that it would be closing its doors by spring.
Home Depot is planning the closures as part of a large scale restructuring that will close down the company's Expo Design Center stores and other Yardbirds. Home Depot spokeswoman Sarah Molinari said they are expecting the closures to take around two months.
Alamo residents in 2006 went through the trauma of the closing of their beloved Yardbirds when it was purchased by Home Depot but store management worked with the residents to reopen the home improvement store in May 2007.
Now the store will be closing along with four other Yardbirds, 34 Expo Design Centers, two Design Center stores and a bath remodeling business known as HD bath, with seven locations.
Elaine Bass, a 55-year resident of Alamo, said the announcement came as a shock as she was shopping at Yardbirds.
"I love this store. We use it all the time," she said. "I'm really disappointed that they're closing it because there isn't another nursery in the area."
Another resident, Sherman Pulcher, said he missed the store the first time it closed and was pleased when Home Depot reopened. Now, the disappointment is back.
Pulcher said losing Yardbirds will be very frustrating for area residents who relied on the store.
"This closing is going to put me back to driving to Crow Canyon (the Home Depot Store on Crow Canyon in San Ramon)," he stated.
Home Depot Chairman and CEO Frank Blake said the closures will affect some 5,000 associates and 2,000 administrative and support level employees. The layoffs represent about 2 percent of the company's workforce.
Officials with the company have declined to say how many employees work at the Alamo store or how many could be absorbed into other Home Depot locations.
Blake said he regretted having to close down the stores, but, "At the same time it is a necessary decision that will strengthen our core Home Depot business."
Blake blamed the economic downturn for the actions, but said that he was pleased that its economic position will still be strong enough to provide severance and bonuses to impacted employees.
Molinari said associates who are not relocated to another store will receive an "enhanced" severance package.
"The associate will receive 60 days of pay and health coverage," she said.
She added that employees currently enrolled in the company's health insurance program will receive a lump sum payment that would allow them to maintain their insurance through COBRA for up to nine months.
She said they are recommending that associates being affected should contact the other stores to see if there are openings.
"They already know our products, they already know our businesses, it would be a natural transition," she explained.
A liquidation firm is being brought in to handle the process of selling off the remaining merchandise at the stores, to handle the workforce reductions as more of the product is gone, and eventually to decide when to close up shop for good.
Other Yardbirds are being closed in Concord, Petaluma, San Pablo and San Rafael. None of the company's "Orange Box" Home Depot stores will be closed in the restructuring.