One of the skills exhibited by strong, successful companies is the ability to reinvent themselves and to adapt to different situations. Call it flexibility. One could argue that PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) thought outside the box and dared to focus on more than beverages when it bought the Frito-Lay snack business. Long ago, Henry Ford loosened up and agreed to sell Ford (NYSE:F) cars in colors other than his preferred black. Change can be good. (Although some change is more questionable -- for example, check out the auto parts store that began selling online pie toppings.)

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) is changing the way it does business a bit as it opens a new landmark store. in Manhattan. Here are some ways that the 105,000-square-foot depot will differ from traditional big orange boxes:

  • Since the store is located in an old, historic building -- the former Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) building on 23rd Street, near Fifth Avenue -- it won't be slathered in bright orange. Instead, it will have more tasteful orange banners announcing its identity. Inside you'll find elevators, escalators, and an atrium.

  • There will be doormen assisting customers in getting purchases into cars and taxis. Shopping carts won't be littered around any large parking lot. Instead, they won't stray far from the building itself and will be managed in-house by a cart escalator.

  • Since many New Yorkers own or rent apartments, you won't see aisles full of lumber, weed whackers, hoses, and gutter downspouts. Instead, there will be beefed-up offerings of paint, closet organizing systems, cabinet hardware, stackable washer/dryer combos, and carpets. (Items such as drywall and lumber can be ordered for delivery.)

How is New York reacting to this new arrival? Many would-be shoppers are, of course, thrilled. But many local small businesses, such as hardware stores, locksmiths, and paint purveyors, are justifiably freaking out at the possibility that they'll be put out of business. It's hard to compete with such a big superstore, after all -- one with strong pricing power.

A New York Times article noted that some competitors are keeping their cool: "Dave Glassman, director of marketing for the Restoration Hardware (NASDAQ:RSTO) chain, which has a 14,000-square-foot store a block from the Home Depot, said the new Home Depot 'will give us more foot traffic, and increase the reputation of the entire neighborhood as a retail district featuring things for the home.'"

Look for Home Depot and even main rival Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) to continue expanding into urban areas as they seek additional profit dollars.

Discuss these developments on our Home Depot and Lowe's discussion boards -- or just pop in to see what others are saying.

And learn more about the ins and outs of buying or selling a home in our Home Center, which also features special mortgage rates. Also, visit our Buying or Selling a Home and Building/Maintaining a Home discussion boards, to get some great insights and tips from fellow Fool s.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Home Depot.