The Home Depot didn’t exactly take off. Initially the company didn’t have enough cash to stock the shelves at its two stores.
Only one of Home Depot’s vendors provided a credit line, and rows of empty shelves don’t exactly inspire confidence. So they had to get creative…
The solution: they “went to vendors and asked them for boxes – just boxes, with the product label on the outside and nothing inside – to fill our empty shelves. Customers would walk in and see what appeared to be prosperous stores, packed with merchandise.”
Many large companies have scrappy origin stories. It’s easy to forget when you are building something.