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UTICA, MI-Home Depot said it will convert its Expo Design Center store in Utica to a traditional Home Depot store and close two Oakland County Expo Design Centers. The announcement came as the company said its first quarter profits jumped by 13%. The changes will leave Michigan with no Expo Design Centers.

A Home Depot spokeswoman tells Globest.com that employees at the Utica store would be able to remain at the store through the transition. She says the company is looking into offering jobs at other area stores to employees at the Troy and West Bloomfield Expo Design Center stores, which will be closing. A timeline for the closings and changes were not provided.

The Troy store is on Big Beaver near Interstate 75. The West Bloomfield store is on Orchard Lake Road near 14 Mile Road. Both of the stores are well over 100,000 sf. The company didn’t say what the long-term plans were for the store locations. Spokesman David Sandor says the decision was made because certain design centers were not meeting the company’s “strategic objectives.” He declined to specifically say whether the stores that will be closed or converted were profitable.

“At the end of the day, it’s a business decision that we make regarding how we operate our stores,” Sandor says. “We did take a 3-cent charge to make this decision within the quarter but we think in the long-term it’s the right one because it allows us to focus on our most profitable stores in the remaining 34 markets.”

Four of the design centers that will be closed are in Texas, three are in Illinois, two are in Michigan and there is one each in California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts and Ohio. Two of the designcenters that will be converted are in New York and there is one each in California, Michigan and New Jersey.

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