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Home Depot Growth Slows; Nardelli's Severance Package Made Public

Rep. Charles Boustany
Tom Williams | Roll Call | Getty Images

Retailer Home Depot, which is boosting store spending this year in a bid to win back market share, slowed its store growth in 2006, according to a federal filing on Thursday. The filing also gave details of the $210 million severance package for former CEO Robert Nardelli, who left in early January.

The home improvement industry leader said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it opened 86 new Home Depot stores, including eight relocations, in the United States during its 2006 fiscal year.

That is down from 140 U.S. stores, including four relocations, opened during the 2005 fiscal year.

Home Depot Chairman and Chief Executive Frank Blake said earlier this month that the retailer, which competes with Lowe's , was scaling back store growth as it matures. Blake said Home Depot's store square-footage growth would roughly match its market growth at about 5%, down from double-digit percentages as recently as two years ago.

The Atlanta retailer said it opened 20 stores in Canada and seven in Mexico during 2006, compared with 21 new Canadian stores and 10 new Mexico stores in 2005. Last year, Home Depot entered China by acquiring retailer The Home Way.

Nardelli's Compensation

The filing said Nardelli's exit "was a termination by the company other than for cause." Nardelli, who joined Home Depot in late 2000, came under heavy criticism for his compensation package, and resigned by mutual agreement with the board.

Nardelli would be entitled to a payment of $20 million and other amounts on July 3, under terms of the separation pact, the filing said. It also stated that Nardelli and eligible family members would receive health, prescription drug and other benefits for three years from Jan. 2, 2007, the effective date of the separation pact.