Home Depot will close its Baton Rouge call center by the end of next year, phasing out the 400 jobs there beginning in the next few months.

Stephen Holmes, spokesman for the chain of home improvement stores, said the decision came after the company analyzed its customer service operations nationally and its plans for future growth. He said he could not elaborate on why Baton Rouge is not part of those plans, adding there were “many factors.”

“Baton Rouge is a great city, and these are outstanding, dedicated associates,” he said. “It was an extremely tough decision to relocate, but after evaluating numerous factors over several months, we determined relocation was the best way to meet our expansion needs.”

Holmes said the call center employees, who were notified Thursday, can pursue positions at other call centers and in the five local stores, which are unaffected by the layoffs.

He said Home Depot will provide relocation assistance to any workers who want to uproot and take a position in a new call center, one of which will be in Ogden, Utah.

Holmes said he didn’t have an address for where in East Baton Rouge the center is located.

Holmes said the company does would not disclose the salary range of the employees at the call center, which handles calls from online customers.

While the exact timetable is fluid, the company will begin phasing out jobs in the next few months and should be finished by the end of 2012. He said employees were notified Thursday.

“Although it’s a long way off, we want to give our associates as much notice as possible,” he said.