More numbers from a big Depot quarter

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More numbers from a big Depot quarter

By HBSDealer Staff - 11/21/2019

The Home Depot reported third quarter comp-store sales growth of 3.8% for U.S. stores. Executive VP of Merchandising Ted Decker filled in more details, and metrics, when describing to analysts how the stores performed in the aisles.

Price deflation played a role in the results, as did the impact of tariffs. The retailer’s lumber category – while showing strong unit sales growth -- posted a low, single-digit negative comp as the result of continued commodity price deflation.  The electrical category was flat, on account of light bulbs and deflation in copper.

The company saw comps above the company average in the following categories:

  • appliances,

  • indoor garden,

  • décor & storage,

  • hardware,

  • tools,

  • outdoor garden,

  • paint, and

  • plumbing

Decker also added color to the topic of tariffs. “We saw increased costs arising from tariffs,” he said. “While still early days, we continue to believe we can effectively manage tariffs. However, we remain cautious on how tariffs could impact the consumer more broadly. Going forward, we will use our tools and analytics to help us continue to focus on being the customer’s advocate for value.”

The company saw strong big-ticket transactions ($1,000 or more), up 4.8%. And excluding hurricane-related markets, big-ticket comp transactions were up 5.5%.

Sales to pros, which make up about 45% of Home Depot’s total sales, continued in the third quarter to outpace DIY sales, he said. "We are investing in resets, services, and a suite of tools to drive a better customer experience and save our Pros time and money. In the third quarter, we saw strong growth in pro-heavy categories like fasteners, pneumatics, concrete, and insulation," he said.

Online sales marked another strong point, with double-digit online growth in almost all departments. “And given the project nature of our business, more than 50 percent of these online U.S. orders were picked up in our stores,” he said.

Decker also promoted the retailer’s lineup of cordless power, including Ryobi, Milwaukee, DeWalt and Ego. He added another name to the mix: Makita’s new line of 18-volt outdoor tools.