Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

World's biggest HI retailers see a return to DIY

Published: 24 February 2010
Home Depot and Lowe's report strong trading in Q4, as increase in consumer confidence boosts discretionary spending.
World's biggest HI retailers see a return to DIY
The world's two largest home improvement retailers reported a stronger performance for Q4, 2009, as consumers turned their attentions to more ambitious home improvement projects and spending on big-ticket items.

Home Depot, which operates 2,244 retail outlets - 1,976 of which are in the US, posted sales of $14.6bn for the fourth quarter of 2009. Although a 0.3% drop on the same period in 2008, total company comparable store sales grew 1.2%.

Lowe's saw impressive gains of 26.5% in Q4, with net earnings topping $205m. Sales for the quarter were up 1.8% to $10.2bn, compared with $10bn in the same period in 2008.

The world's second largest home improvement retailer, with 1,710 stores across the US and Canada, Lowe's saw growth in sales of flooring, cabinets and cabinet tops in the fourth quarter. Its kitchen design and installation service also performed well.

Home Depot's sales were driven by gains in kitchen and bath, paint, flooring and plumbing, as the company reported net earnings of $342m in Q4 compared with a net loss of $54m for the same period in 2008.

Lowe's chairman Robert A. Niblock commented: "While the physical impact of falling home prices and an uncertain employment picture continue to weigh on consumer, improving comparable store sales trends, including improvement n many bigger-ticket project categories, provides an encouraging sign that consumers are gaining the confidence to take on more discretionary projects."

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