The Home Depot’s President of U.S. Retail Craig Menear had plenty of positive numbers to discuss from a merchandising standpoint after the company reported comp-store sales growth of 5.8% in the second quarter.
All three U.S. divisions had positive comps, and also beat their sales plan, Menear said. Additionally, all departments had positive comps for the quarter, in which Home Depot reported sales of $23.8 billion.
“The core of the store continued to perform well as we saw strength in maintenance and repair categories across the country,” Menear said.
Better-than-average departments for the second quarter were tools, millwork, outdoor garden, electrical and kitchen.
Also strong were transactions for tickets over $900 – up 8.4%. This growth was caused by sales of appliances, windows, water heaters, wood and laminate flooring, he said.
One of the few blemishes on the Home Depot scorecard was the lost sales in air movement categories, a decline Menear chalked up to the cooler summer weather. However, sales in exterior stains, water sealers, grills, seed, soils, mulch and live goods more than made up for the loss, he said.
Looking into the third quarter, Menear pointed to LED technology as a potential bright spot. The company is launching a new light bulb reset that will expand the presence and capacity of the category, bringing an additional 26 skus to the assortment.
“We’re also introducing new products for the connected home, including garage door openers, thermostats, water heaters, and light bulbs,” he said.
And as the stores roll out the next generation of the FIRST Phone – a customer service tool for store employees – they will also roll out special deals for Labor Day and Fall Clean up events, he said.