From what I can see, it's not the competition that is putting pressure on either the big box stores or the small retailers now. Our economy has been bad for a couple of years but this is just starting to show up with the home builders. Even then, it has hit the builders of lower cost housing but the topmost 1 or 5% of the market is still strong. There is so much commercial/industrial property for sale that it's really scary. We do have some military market here and that takes a while to get warmed up if it follows the same track as Desert Storm.
These are the factors that really matter to the total market. But there may be another reason that HD is backing off and that's their long term survival. I have walked out of there and told them why I was going to make the much longer drive to Lowe's. These kind of things are cyclical, just like the economy. I would like to see Lowe's build a closer store to me but the old Home Quarters building is still vacant.