The Home Depot Rolling Out 125,000 Mobile Devices to Enhance Store Associate and Customer Experiences

Connected associates in the store or the parking lot will offer Home Depot shoppers a new level of customer service.
Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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The Home Depot is beginning to rollout 125,000 new mobile devices for store associates and an upgrade to its in-store network to improve both the associate and customer experience.

The devices, called hdPhones, will reach about 100 stores per week and all U.S. stores by the end of the year, so that every scheduled associate will have a new device.

With the latest mobile device technology in collaboration with Zebra Technologies, HPE and Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, The Home Depot is making it faster and more convenient for its store associates to serve customers.The Home Depot is the first major retailer to combine the new Zebra devices and Aruba Wi-Fi 6 across its more than 2,300 stores, it said. With the combined technologies, the new mobile devices can communicate anywhere across the entire store and into the parking lots. 

The new hdPhones will improve engagement between customers and store associates, while helping customers locate products faster, build confidence in their project knowledge, and quickly connect with experts across the store and beyond.  Advanced-range barcode scanning enables associates to locate products, check pricing and inventory availability in hand or from more than 40 feet away, which is particularly helpful when serving customers and locating products in overhead storage. 

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Additionally, docking with Zebra’s Workstation Connect enables store associates to help customers by viewing and demoing products and specifications on larger screens. Additional capabilities include multi-device integration, more efficient app speeds, in-store texting, direct walkie talkie communication, and more. 

“Our customers expect a frictionless experience, in our stores and on their mobile devices,” said Fahim  Siddiqui, EVP and CIO of The Home Depot. “We continue to identify ways to make it more seamless for our customers to shop wherever, whenever and however they want. The enhanced digital in-store environment allows our customers to more quickly get what they need to complete their projects with the help of a more connected associate.”  

The home improvement chain first deployed handheld tech for associates in 2010. At the time, the retailer deployed 30,000 transactional/communication devices in 1,970 of its stores, providing associates with handheld technology that combines inventory management and analytics functions, a phone, a store walkie-talkie, and label printing with POS.