Inside Home Depot: How one company revolutionized an industry through the relentless pursuit of growth (1999) is a book about, as the name suggests, Home Depot, the largest home improvement retailer in the country, and perhaps the world. The book is written by Chris Roush, a self-described “first-time author” and a professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Professor Roush also mantains a regular blog that can be accessed by clicking here).
As Professor Roush describes on the first page of the first chapter, the book is “the story of Home Depot, the most succesful retailer to come along since Wal-Mart…, the story of a chain of stores that has arguably revolutionized its industry more than any other retailer…”. It is also a story “of two executives who made [Home Depot] happen”, … who “hit on a formula for success … never before tried in the hardware retail business.” It describes the history of Home Depot and how it became a leading player in its history.
The book is an unofficial version of the story of Home Depot, i.e., it is written without the cooperation of the founders of Home Depot- Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus. In essence, the story of Home Depot is the story of Arthur and Bernie, so the book is really about Arthur and Bernie. As an unofficial version, I expected it to take a more critical look at Home Depot’s strategy (relentlessly pursuing growth via increasing the number of stores) or ethical issues (gender discrimination lawsuit) or culture (the Home Depot cult-like cheer). However, in all, I was impressed by the pleasant writing style in the book and the way it kept me engaged in the story from start to finish.