The Home Depot Announces 'ORANGE WORKS' Innovation Partnership, Unveils New Products


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The Home Depot Announces 'ORANGE WORKS' Innovation Partnership, Unveils New Products

  1. 1. The Home Depot Announces 'ORANGE WORKS' Innovation Partnership, Unveils New Products The Home Depot and Arnell Group Create a New Brand and Product Innovation Group ATLANTA, Nov 29, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- The Home Depot(R) today announced the creation of ORANGE WORKS, a new innovation and design venture with Arnell Group, that will redefine product development for the world's largest home improvement retailer. Comprised of leadership from The Home Depot and Arnell Group Innovation Lab, ORANGE WORKS has a mission to work with expert vendors on unique and proprietary innovation within The Home Depot that will meet the needs of emerging lifestyle and product trends. (Logo: ) "The cornerstone of The Home Depot is delivering distinctive merchandise at an attractive price. ORANGE WORKS will drive unique product design and accelerate the speed to market with products that are best in class across the store," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president & CEO of The Home Depot. "Knowing Peter Arnell and his expertise in innovation and design, I am confident that this unique venture will ensure we work closely with our vendor partners to develop and design unique and proprietary products to make living easier and more enjoyable for our customers." This new organization will be led jointly by Winston Ledet, vice president of Merchandising Strategy & Innovation for The Home Depot, and Peter Arnell, brand inventor and Arnell Group chairman and chief creative officer. The organization will report to Craig Menear, senior vice president of Merchandising for The Home Depot. The ORANGE WORKS team is charged with getting closer to consumers' needs and wants, and creating innovative products that will embody high levels of functionality, next-generation technology, consumer appeal, style and design. "ORANGE WORKS has one agenda: to innovate using the great minds, resources and talents of The Home Depot teams and its partners, of which I am now proudly a part," said Peter Arnell, ORANGE WORKS chief innovation and design officer. "ORANGE WORKS is about creating a new standard of excellence for products in the home improvement category." This unique venture between The Home Depot and Arnell Group Innovation Lab is a seamless partnership and collaboration among market researchers, store associates, merchants, designers, vendor partners, architects, engineers, industrial designers, graphic designers, and brand and design strategists. ORANGE WORKS will tap global innovations and best practices to bring innovative new products to market across specific "mega-trend" categories, including home safety, aging in place, outdoor living, smart home technology, efficient use of time and space, and eco-friendly products. The multidimensional ORANGE WORKS team will take products from conception to presentation at retail in a holistic program that is thoroughly orchestrated from idea to shelf. "The Home Depot will use its unique position in the marketplace with more than 355,000 associates, over 1 billion customer transactions annually, and hundreds of vendor relationships to mine consumer insights and best technologies every day," said Menear. "The expert vendors who get involved will be our key partners in the development of these new and innovative offerings." New Products Unveiled One of the first ORANGE WORKS projects is the launch of a new proprietary brand, Home Hero(TM), which focuses on home safety. The line will feature complementary products, including an innovative fire extinguisher with improved ergonomics designed to complement the decor of any room of the home. In contrast to the traditional red tank that usually is hidden under a sink or in a closet, the new, attractive extinguisher is designed to remain visible in a room and within reach for quick use. The cross-functional ORANGE WORKS team is working in conjunction with vendor partner Kidde, which is a part of UTC Fire and Security, a business unit of United Technologies. Two additional ORANGE WORKS innovations under development focus on universal design, ideal for consumers who want to age in place or create a more accessible home environment. Easy Reach Storage enables a consumer to raise or lower cabinet shelving units with one hand, eliminating the need to stoop or stretch. The second item is a decorative chair rail molding system that doubles as a handrail, designed for consumers who need the support but do not want unattractive handrails in their homes.
  2. 2. ORANGE WORKS is part of The Home Depot's longstanding commitment to offering customers innovative products, services and shopping experiences. The Company works closely with its manufacturing partners to develop differentiated products at an attractive price point for consumers. Every year The Home Depot recognizes one top vendor with the Merchandising Innovation Award, as well as one Supplier of the Year in each product category. Past award winners include the Ryobi AIRgrip(TM) laser level, which features an exclusive non-marking vacuum base that secures to almost any surface and a head that rotates 360 degrees; VIVA! SunPatiens(R), an inter-specific impatiens flower that thrives in full sun and high heat conditions; and the LG SteamWasher(TM), a clothes washer that not only offers high energy efficiency and water conservation, but also can reduce wrinkles. In November 2005, The Home Depot was the first national retailer to offer cordless power tools that operate with lithium-ion, a breakthrough battery technology that lasts up to 40 percent longer than an average 18-volt power tool. To help develop best-in- class products, displays and operational programs, The Home Depot operates an "Innovation Center," an off- site facility that is a store-simulated environment. In September 2006, The Home Depot launched its first national home show, featuring top innovative products through live demonstrations, in- store celebrity clinics, a virtual home tour and online workshops. Arnell Group is a world-renowned design and brand creation firm specializing in product innovation and experiential design from first concept to market solution. Areas of expertise are experiential design, product and brand innovation, industrial design, graphic design, packaging design, new media integration and retail presence. Arnell Group founder, Peter Arnell, trained in architecture and design at Columbia and Princeton and began his career working in the office of Michael Graves. Mr. Arnell formed Arnell Group Innovation Lab in 1999 to place invention and innovation on the forefront in a collaborative laboratory for corporations interested in design for next- generation products and experiences. Arnell Group has created brands and products for companies, including Samsung, DKNY, Reebok, PepsiCo, Unilever, Pfizer, Banana Republic, Bank of America, Jose Cuervo and Mars Inc. Arnell Group has received multiple recognition and awards for its innovation design. Founded in 1979, Arnell Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC). The Home Depot(R) is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,117 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. Through its HD Supply(SM) businesses, The Home Depot is also one of the largest diversified wholesale distributors in the United States, with nearly 1,000 locations in the United States and Canada offering products and services for building, improving and maintaining homes, businesses and municipal infrastructures. In fiscal 2005, The Home Depot had sales of $81.5 billion and earnings of $5.8 billion. The Company employs approximately 355,000 associates and has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as the No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer and the No. 13 Most Admired Corporation in America for 2006. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index. HDG SOURCE The Home Depot Karen Haggerty of The Home Depot, +1-770-384-3686, or Copyright (C) 2006 PR Newswire. All rights reserved News Provided by COMTEX