Home Depot points to holiday innovation
Father’s Day and Fourth of July events at the world’s largest home improvement retailer include expanded assortments of LED light bulbs and folding lawn mowers.
During the company’s first-quarter earnings call with analysts and investors, Home Depot president U.S. retail Craig Menear spelled out four product introductions that he said will "generate a lot of excitement in the second quarter."
The company is expanding its offering of LED light bulbs from Cree with an extra 10 SKUs, including a 100-watt equivalent and three-way bulbs.
Stores will also sell a Toro mower that Menear called "the first ever gas-powered mower that can be folded and stored upright in your garage." It won’t leak gas or oil either, he said.
A Glidden paint program for professional customers offers four different paint types with "features and price that our pros are looking for," he said.
Home Depot will also bring KitchenAid appliances to select stores and online by the end of the second quarter, he said.
Looking back at the first quarter, snow shovels did very well in February, March and April, of course. But Home Depot’s sales growth — 15 of 19 U.S. regions posted positive comp-store sales — was boosted by what Menear called "strength across the store."
Home Depot’s best-selling departments during the first quarter were tools, electrical, plumbing, kitchens, bath, hardware, decor, building materials, millwork and lighting.
Overall, Home Depot’s comps were up 2.6% for the quarter.
Also showing positive comps (but below the company average) were flooring, indoor garden and paint.
Negative comps hit the stores outdoor garden and lumber departments, Menear said, adding roofing, chemicals, lawnmowers, soils and mulch in the negative column.
"As we saw last year, the majority of these projects will likely be deferred to the second quarter," he said.
Walmart’s Shelley Broader takes on new role
Walmart Canada president and CEO Shelley Broader’s role has changed to include oversight of Europe and Africa.
Broader was named EVP, president and CEO of Walmart EMEA, a region Walmart defines as including Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
In her new role, Broader will lead Walmart’s retail operations and oversee business development in those regions and report to Walmart International president and CEO David Cheesewright. She succeeded Cheesewright as Walmart’s top Canadian executive in the fall of 2011 when he was tapped for the EMEA role. Broader joined Walmart Canada in December 2010 as chief merchandising officer after holding leadership roles with Hannaford Bros. and Michael’s. Her successor in Canada was not immediately named.
“Shelley has been a strong leader since joining Walmart Canada and is the ideal person to leverage the tremendous potential the EMEA region holds for our company,” Cheesewright said. “Shelley’s leadership of our business in Canada during a time of increased competition underscores her knowledge of the retail environment, which will serve her well in her new role.”
Walmart operates 1,345 stores and employs 285,000 people in the region Broader will oversee in her new role.