Port Strike Threatens Home Improvement Chains

Looming East Coast strike could interfere with spring rush at Home Depot, Lowe's.

Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos. have the most at stake among retailers facing a dockworkers’ strike, with possible port closings cutting off shipments right before the lucrative gardening season.

Home Depot, the biggest U.S. home-improvement chain, is making plans in case 15,000 workers at ports from Maine to Texas walk off the job, and Lowe’s said that it is monitoring the talks. About 45 percent of the commerce that flows in an out of the U.S. goes through East Coast ports, according to the National Retail Federation.

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