In its latest move to cater to professional customers that comprise almost half its sales, The Home Depot announced Tuesday that is has opened its first drive-through distribution center.
Called a flatbed distribution center, or FDC, the company’s first such facility spans 800,000-square-feet in Dallas, TX and enables flatbed trucks to drive right through the middle of the warehouse and have heavy or oversized products such as lumber, ladders, pipes or roofing materials added from either side.
Home Depot’s traditional distribution centers and stores can typically only accommodate smaller trucks, which would load or unload smaller orders from each location multiple times. The FDC makes that process more efficient.
Flatbed trucks can hold multiple deliveries, and the retailer said the FDC can handle 65 to 75 trucks per day. Home Depot’s senior vice president of supply chain told the Dallas Morning News that the facility there can handle thousands of flatbed deliveries per week to customers within a 75-mile radius of Dallas.
Check out Home Depot's promo video for the Dallas FDC below:
And the Dallas FDC is just the first. Home Depot’s president of supply chain and product development said the company expects to build 40 flatbed distribution centers in the 40 largest US markets, enabling the delivery of products to pro customers on a same-day or next-day basis.
Overall, this network of FDCs is one of several new types of Home Depot delivery centers that are part of the company’s $1.2 billion investment to build about 150 new facilities across the country, with the goal of providing 90 percent of US customers with same or next-day delivery.
The Dallas Morning News reported that while only 4 percent of Home Depot’s total customer base are Pro Customers, they comprise 45 percent of the company’s annual sales. So, it makes sense that the retailer is stepping up its efforts to cater them.