Home Depot made no secret of its intentions to get into the retail business in China. APPLIANCE reported in June 2004 that Home Depot – just after purchasing Mexico's Home Mart chain - had established a business development operation in China and named Bill Patterson to the newly created position of president, The Home Depot Asia. Patterson was given the responsibility of leading the company's expansion into China.
"About 70 percent of home improvement spending in China is for completion of interior space in new homes. We see that as a solid growth opportunity given The Home Depot's strength in merchandise and services geared to finishing out a home," Patterson said at the time.
But since then, there have been only unconfirmed reports of The Home Depot actually making any moves that would get it into the China market. Last January, the Financial Times reported the company was in talks with China DIY chain Orient Home, and media reports of a potential deal for Home Way surfaced for the first time in October of this year.