Home Depot to cut 1,000 jobs, shut three stores Home Depot Inc By Andria Cheng, MarketWatch NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- No. 1 home-improvement retailer Home Depot Inc. said Tuesday that it's cutting 1,000 jobs and shutting three underperforming pilot stores as the company consolidates various back-end functions. The stores, affecting about 100 jobs, are a small-format store in Wilson, N.C.; a temporary hurricane-recovery outlet in Waveland, Miss.; and a clearance outlet in Austell, Ga. Existing-home sales plunge in December, dropping lower than expected after three straight increases that were fed by a fat government tax credit. Dow Jones Newswires' Dawn Wotapka and Kathleen Madigan discuss what the latest figures say about the state of the U.S. housing market. Approximately 900 other jobs being cut relate to the company consolidating its human-resources, finance, real-estate and construction functions, including centralizing its HR structure back to Atlanta headquarters instead of having a field-team structure by districts, company spokesman Ron Defeo said. Home Depot no longer needs as big of a staff for real estate since it has slowed its store openings. As part of the restructuring, the company said it will add 200 jobs in Atlanta. "This is not a case of the company cutting expenses in reaction to broader economic pressures or our business performance," Chief Executive Frank Blake wrote in a memo to employees. "Rather, we are making prudent structural changes where it makes business sense to consolidate some functions." Home Depot said it has no plans to close its orange big-box stores. The company has more than 300,000 employees and 2,245 stores worldwide, including 1,976 in the United States. Shares were up 0.6% to $27.78 in late-afternoon trading. Details related the company's capital spending and other areas will be laid out when Home Depot reports its earnings on Feb. 23, according to Defeo. The news came two days after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it's cutting more than 11,000 jobs at its Sam's Club wholesale chain. The retail giant earlier this month also said it's shutting 10 underperforming Sam's Club stores, cutting 1,500 jobs. Read story about how Wal-Mart's moves at Sam's Club makes Street sense.