The Home Depot's top merchant had a lot more good news than bad news to share with investors regarding the retailer's first quarter performance.
"We are pleased with our performance in the first quarter with strength in our business across the breadth of the store," said Craig Menear, executive VP merchandising. The only departments with negative comp-store sales were indoor and outdoor garden -- the result of unusually cold weather in parts of the country, he said.
The long list of departments that outperformed the company's average comp were kitchens, lumber, tools, plumbing, decor, electrical, bath, flooring, lighting and hardware. Not as strong, but still positive, were paint, millwork and building materials.
From Menear's report to investors during the company's first-quarter conference call, one of the more impressive stats dealt with big-ticket items. Transactions for tickets over $900 were up 9.7% in the quarter.
On May 21, Home Depot reported a strong first-quarter performance, including net earnings of $1.2 billion.
Menear described merchandise successes in flooring (Soft Spring carpet), grout (Fusion); bath (Moen and Delta Foundations) and vanities (Glacier Bay).
"We continue to see strong results in lighting, as customers transition to LED bulbs and light fixtures," he said.
For the second quarter, Home Depot expects to benefit from sales of new paint technology from Behr. The Marquee exterior paint and primer, Menear said, offers non-stick surface that resists dirt as well as advanced fade performance. The line can be applied in colder temperatures and resists rain after 60 minutes.
Menear also called out a Ryobi battery-powered trimmer that converts to a corded trimmer. He also expressed optimism for the Pennington SmartFeed sprayer system.