- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Home Depot rushed to open a store in Williston during the zenith of North Dakota’s oil boom. Less than three years later, the home improvement retailer is shuttering the underperforming outlet during a downturn of oil-drilling activity in the region.

“It’s the most prudent business decision at this point,” Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes told the Williston Herald (https://bit.ly/1VGPD3g ).

The company opened the store in 2013 in Williston, the biggest city in North Dakota’s oil patch. At just more than 6,000 square feet in size, the store was meant to compliment Home Depot’s full-size store in Minot, about 120 miles east of Williston.

Home Depot said the Williston store was first time in the company’s history that it had converted an existing building into a retail store. The company also had said that opening a full-size store in the oil patch city was a possibility.

But with slumping oil prices and activity, the number of construction projects in oil patch has decreased. Less than 30 drill rigs were operating in western North Dakota’s oil patch on Friday, compared to about 200 when the store opened. Competition also has increased by other companies, including a small store by home improvement retailer Menards.

Home Depot said only five people are currently employed at the store and they will be offered a severance package or jobs at other locations.

Home Depot is not new to shuttering locations in North Dakota. The company’s Bismarck store opened in 2004 but was closed in 2008 due to underperformance.

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Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com


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