By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Despite strong sales, Lowes can’t quite catch Home Depot
Lowe’s has spent the last year actively shaking up its organization in an effort to differentiate itself and capitalize on opportunities in the home improvement industry, and those changes have paid off with a 10.7 percent year-over-year increase in net sales for quarter one. Despite the growth, however, those figures fall short of analyst expectations, reaching just $16.9 billion compared to projected $19.5 billion in sales, according to data from Thomson Reuters. And while the numbers were good, they were not quite good enough to overtake industry leader Home Depot.
Home Depot reported first quarter sales of $23.9 billion, a nearly 5 percent jump year-over-year, while comparable store sales grew 5.5 percent overall and 6 percent in the U.S., according to a company press release. This follows strong fourth quarter growth that saw U.S. same-store sales increase more than 6 percent.
“A solid macroeconomic backdrop, combined with our project expertise, drove about average performance in indoor projects,” explained Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO Robert Niblock. “We also continued to advance our sales to Pro customers, delivering another quarter of comparable sales growth well above the company average.”
Over the past few years, The Home Depot has been making major investments to meet customer expectations, both in physical locations and in the digital world, as Innovative Retail Technologies reported. Now, Home Depot has been recognized for its interconnected retail strategy, ranked #1 among big box retailers for its digital performance in L2’s third annual Digital IQ Index study. Home Depot was recognized for its best-in-class e-commerce site, its shoppable social feeds, a robust mobile site and more, making it one of only two retailers to earn the top ranking in the study. From programmable thermostats and security systems to smart kitchen appliances and lithium ion power tools, Home Depot offers smart technology throughout the store. As part of their digital initiative, The Home Depot is “helping customers make their homes work smarter, not harder.”
Lowe’s has also kicked up its initiatives recently, including a new partnership with Virginia Tech to develop a new lift-assist robotic suit technology to help employees lift and carry merchandise more safely and efficiently.