Home Depot’s profits are on the rise, after the company fired up its low-wage turnover meat to come out of hiding and help those intent on spending money. On the surface, it’s a new day and a new fiscal quarter for the home improvement giant. But the company’s government-like “Customers First Initiative,” the sensitivity training at the center of a renewed interest in customer satisfaction, is a both a clever exploitation of all things superhighway and a shotgun wedding for employees and customers.
Having coddled the big spenders and contractors of a bygone building boom, Home Depot has now begun to capitalize on the socioeconomic similarities between its employees and its more typical patrons. Its new Customers First Initiative is a product of regime change at the company and includes action items like “Power Hours,” where employees drop what they’re doing and seek out wanderers who may need help. (more…)