Leaders of Lumber: J.T. Rieves, The Home Depot
The Home Depot continues to make professional customers a major focus.
Its Pro B2B site now has more than 1 million pro customers onboarded and is intent on making the new online experience very “pro specific,” according to J.T. Rieves, The Home Depot vice president, Pro Business.
Rieves is in his 31st year working at The Home Depot, having started as an hourly associate, and rising up the ranks to store manager, district manager, and regional vice president. For the past 8 years he’s been overseeing the home improvement giant’s in-store pro segment.
“Professionals are one of our most important customers,” Rieves told HBSDealer. “Our leadership and field teams remain laser-focused on how to make the business better for our pro customers. A significant part of our strategic business initiatives are focused on our commitment to the pro. This includes expanded fulfillment options and improvements to pricing programs, and our Pro Xtra loyalty program.”
The new Pro online experience allows pros to build lists of frequently purchased items, download their purchase history in QuickBooks, and to build, save and share quotes – locking in pricing.”
Within the retailer’s stores, The Home Depot is enhancing its focus on in-stock products, with new tools targeting best sellers and key pro items. The retailer is also looking to expedite pros’ visit to the store so they are in and out faster. This includes enhancements to the pro desk system, allowing store associates to assist top pros through recommended products and services.
While product assortments have been expanded and inventory strengthened, The Home Depot’s pricing continues to focus on low prices for pros.
“Our Volume Pricing Program allows Pros to take advantage of pricing by our merchandising team when buying in larger quantities,” Rieves says. “In addition, we continue to expand our Pro Direct programs, allowing Pros to buy in bulk for larger savings and have the product delivered directly to the Pro.”
During the COVID-19 crisis, The Home Depot’s ‘Buy Online Pickup in Store’ program became extremely successful with pros.
“This enables our pros to order from their home or the job site and lets us do the work of pulling the order - allowing the Pro to spend more time working and less time shopping.”
Whether it’s leadership, reps in the field, products or technology, Rieves said that the company is laser-focused on how to make business better for its pro customers.
“We always strive to provide unique and comprehensive product offerings, continued innovation, and exceptional convenience and value,” he said.
(This article originally appeared in the September 2020 edition of HBSDealer.)