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Home Depot Cuts Whirlpool

With its long-awaited push to expand its major appliance marketing just getting under way, Home Depot has stopped ordering majaps from Whirlpool, at least temporarily.

Whirlpool was initially slated to be one of just two appliance suppliers in the home-improvement chain’s push for a larger share of the profitable white-goods business.

Home Depot said late last month it will continue to order from GE Appliances, reportedly praising GE for “jumping through hoops” to meet its delivery requirements.

A Home Depot spokesman declined to elaborate on the decision to cut Whirlpool, noting that the chain may resume the relationship at a later date.

Whirlpool was plagued with delivery problems for several months in late summer and early fall 1999 but said those problems were ebbing by November.

In a statement after Home Depot’s move to halt its Whirlpool orders was revealed, Whirlpool chairman/CEO David Whitwam said no final decisions have been made. “The decisions that both parties finally must make will be based on how well this opportunity fits both companies’ long-term strategies,” he said.