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The New York Times reports this morning on an interesting phenomenon taking place at Home Depot stores out west, where thousands of Hispanic day workers stand around their parking lots hoping to pick up some work.

Home Depot management is not amused, especially as it has begun offering its own installation services to shoppers, and has hired security forces to keep the day workers at bay.

"Home Depot is a do-it-yourself center," Home Depot’s Chuck Sifuentes told the NYT. "We want people to do the work themselves. But baby boomers are getting older and want the work done for them. This attracts labor that we don't endorse."

The problem is getting worse as the economy continues to stall, according to the NYT.
KC's View:
This actually gives us an idea…if this website thing ever goes south, maybe we’ll hang out at the local supermarket parking lot asking women if they want to take me home so we can make them a risotto…

Seriously, though, while the NYT reports that the hordes of day workers tend to be scruffy but fairly orderly, it seems to us that Home Depot actually is missing the larger picture. Sure, they offer some installation services, but our experience is that you wait forever and get lousy attention. Maybe what Home Depot ought to have is a pool of employees who have been vetted and who can help someone on a project at a moment’s notice. It could be a powerful marketing tool.

In the same way, food retailers could offer much the same sort of service, with a pool of talent instantly available for a variety of food-related need.