Atlanta-based Apex Supply Co., and Maintenance Warehouse® now operate under the name The Home Depot Supply effective March 1 in order to present a unified brand in the business-to-business marketplace, according to The Home Depot®.

Home Depot Supply is a division of Home Depot that focuses on serving business-to-business customers by offering them a full range of products, from builder and trade construction materials to plumbing and HVAC products, in addition to maintenance, repair and operating supplies.

“Combining these professional supply businesses under the Home Depot Supply brand will leverage their collective strength to benefit our customers,” Jim Stoddart, president of The Home Depot Supply, said in a statement. “We are building a platform for future growth that will provide superior services tailored to meet the needs of professional customers. We understand that each customer's needs are different, and we are committed to having the expertise to meet them uniquely. We're building our business around their business.”

The name change does not extend to Your Other Warehouse, which focuses on filling special orders and can be compared to a master distributor in its function, according to a company spokeswoman. Your Other Warehouse often sells to other distributors and retailers, while Apex Supply and Maintenance Warehouse deal directly with professional contractors, she said.

The new name will not affect the way customers interact with the companies. Customers will be notified of new services and product offerings as they become available. The Home Depot Supply logo will appear on collateral materials and signage in March.

Apex Supply Co., a wholesale distributor of plumbing, HVAC, and industrial pipe, valves and fittings, has branches throughout the Southeast. Maintenance Warehouse sells maintenance, repair and operations products and is able to provide more than 95% of the United States with next-day delivery on thousands of in-stock maintenance products at wholesale prices.

In other news, The Home Depot projected sales growth of 9% to 12% and earnings growth of 10% to 14%, excluding the estimated impact of EITF 02-16, for fiscal year 2004 at its annual meeting. Also, the company expects comparable store sales to increase 3% to 6% for fiscal 2004.

Its growth strategy includes efforts such as At-Home Services, tool rental centers and the Web site, as well as expansion into new market segments including HD Supply and government business. In addition the company is adding stores in the Canadian and Mexican markets.

Fiscal 2003 sales are expected to be up 11%, including 2003 comparable store sales growth of about 3.8%. Fiscal 2003 earnings are projected to rise 15% to 17%.