Behind a ‘unique’ $25 billion quarter

Home Depot’s sales to pros outpaced sales to DIYers, again.

Home Depot saw strength in core categories, including lumber.

Five Home Depot departments scored double-digit comps in the third quarter, described by CEO Creaig Menear as a “unique” three months marked by natural disasters. Executives at Atlanta-based The Home Depot elaborated on this and other highlights from the company’s $25 billion third-quarter performance during its earnings call.

Executive VP of Merchandising Ted Decker said lumber, appliances, electrical, indoor garden, and tools were the five departments that grew comps by 10% or more in the quarter. He also pointed to strength in the core business, as well as double-digit comps in the storm-related categories of generators, wet-dry vacs, tarps, and ladders.

Pro sales, which also scored double-digit comps, once again outpaced DIY sales at the world’s largest home-improvement retailer.

“We believe that the work we are doing to enhance the service capabilities for the unique needs of the Pro customer continues to resonate,” said Menear.

Other highlights from the company’s third-quarter performance:

  • Online sales grew approximately 19%in the quarter, now representing approximately 6.2%of our total sales.
  • About 45% of online U.S. orders are picked up in stores.
  • Comp average ticket increased 5.1%, and comp transactions increased 2.7%.
  • Big-ticket sales in the third quarter, or transactions over $900, which represent approximately 22% of our U.S. sales, were up 12.1%.
  • Transactions for tickets under $50, which make up about 16% of our U.S. sales, grew by 1.8% in the quarter.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter product mix, the company intends to lean on what it calls its “product authority” in the area of cordless power tools, and expand it to adjacent categories. The company has high hopes for the Dewalt FlexVolt Cordless Air Compressor, as well as a new Makita LXT product line that offers 36-volt power

Decker pointed to Milwaukee, Dewalt, Ryobi, Makita, Diablo and Husky as a partial list of brands that will strengthen the retailer’s Gift Center in the fourth quarter.

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