The Home Depot opens store on Liberia Ave. in Manassas

The Home Depot officially opens its first store in the City of Manassas today, saving residents the drive all the way down Sudley Road/Balls Ford Road to the nearest home improvement store. The new location is on Liberia Avenue near Va. 28.

At a grand opening ceremony Wednesday night, Manassas Mayor Marvin Gillum said: “We are proud to welcome The Home Depot to our community. Congratulations for your quick construction work in getting this store open in record time. We wish you the best and we want to be good partners.”

Instead of a ribbon, he sawed a board in two to unofficially open the store to a few hundred selected customers and employees.

Tracey Gatz, store manager, said the store’s 140 employees are “committed to giving excellent customer service.”

“We want to be known as the number one retail store in the area. We have a leg up on our competition because we have an excellent, knowledgeable staff.”

She said the 95,000-square-foot store is stocked with 42,000 different products and that there are five million pieces on the shelves.

Gatz, a resident of Dale City who has been with The Home Depot for 9 1/2 years, said the store wants to work with the community nonprofit groups and presented a $2,000 check to Benedictine Aid and Relief for Neighbors Transitional Housing in Bristow.

Founded in 1978 in Atlanta, The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement retailer, currently operating 1,517 stores, including 34 in Virginia.

This includes 1,351 Home Depot stores in the United States, including six Home Depot Supply stores, seven Home Depot stores in Puerto Rico, 52 EXPO Design Centers, three HD Landscape Supply stores, 89 Home Depot stores in seven Canadian provinces and 12 in Mexico.

The company reported net sales for fiscal 2001 of $53.6 billion and employs more than 280,000 people. Each Home Depot store stocks about 40,000 to 50,000 different kinds of building materials, home improvement supplies and lawn and garden products. Most stores average 114,000 square feet with an additional 20,000 square foot garden center.

The stores have a design center staffed by professional designers who offer free in-store consultation for home improvement projects ranging from lighting to computer-assisted design for kitchens and bathrooms.

Home Depot stores cater to do-it-yourselfers as well as home improvement, construction and building maintenance professionals.

The Home Depot presently operates in 49 states in the United States and the District of Columbia. The company strives to give back to the community with major focuses on affordable housing, at-risk youth, the environment and disaster recovery. Many of its workers volunteer to help with activities within the local communities the stores serve.

Home Depot also has a second store in the area — at 7486 Stream Walk Lane, outside the Manassas city limits.

“Our goal is to beat not only our competition but also that store in customer service and sales,” Gatz said.

Staff writer Bennie Scarton Jr. can be reached at (703) 368-3101, Ext. 125.

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