Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) plans to open three additional distribution centers in the next 18 months as it seeks to feel the growing demand for home delivery and pickup points. The company’s growing demand for delivery services has seen customers experience long waits and shipping delays.

The expansion is expected to create more jobs

The home improvement retailer will expand its facilities in Henry, Fulton, and DeKalb Counties. The company says the project will create around 1,000 additional full-time and part-time jobs.

“We like to say that retail has changed more in the past four years than in our 40-year history,” said Stephanie Smith, senior vice president of supply chain.

While commenting on the proposed expansion, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, said that the retailer has been instrumental in creating jobs for the people of Georgia and the entire country. He applauded the company for making long-term investments in their home state and for their vibrant community support programs.

The company has created over 5,000 jobs in Georgia in the last five years through various distribution centers it has been opening in the state. The jobs are spread out in various sections like customer service, marketing, e-commerce, and technology.

Need for a strong supply chain in the pandemic

According to Smith, the COVID-19 has exposed the need to have a flexible and robust supply chain. He noted that during the pandemic, customers have shifted to online shopping. The company’s main agenda has been to meet customer speed and convenience. The company has rolled out several measures to meet customer expectations like the curbside pickup launched in late March. The curbside pickup is currently available at all stores.

The pandemic seems to be boosting Home Depot’s online sales. The company reported 80% growth in online sales year over year in the 1Q 2020. The company reported $4.2 billion or around 15% of its net sales in online sales.

In 2017, Home Depot announced a $1.2 billion investment to go towards expanding its distribution network. The company aimed to open 150 additional supply points around the country.