US home improvement giant Home Depot (HD.NYSE) closed its last store in Beijing, marking its fifth store closure in China over the past 24 months, the Financial Times reported. While the firm said in a statement that it "remains committed to China" and acknowledged that it still has seven stores outside of Beijing, Home Depot’s brand of "do-it-yourself" consumerism has faced difficulty in the country, including low labor costs, decoration mall competitors and cultural obstacles. Home Depot expanded into China with 10 stores in 2006, but its current corporate governance has shifted back to improving its presence in the US. Home Depot’s European competitor B&Q (subsidiary of Kingfisher; KGF.LSE) has faced the same difficulties during its expansion into China; as many as a third of the chain’s China stores may have recently closed.
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