Blank and Marcus formed the idea for Home Depot after each being fired by a boss who called himself "Ming the Merciless." The store has almost 1,200 locations in North and South America today. Blank said an emphasis on the staff was one of the most important ideas behind Home Depot's creation. "In most cases in retailing, the emphasis is on how to spend as little as you can on your employees," he said. "You control your payroll by controlling the dollars you are spending. Our notion was that payroll was not an expense... we hired the best people and thought of it as a capital investment in the business."