The Home Depot (Atlanta), the world's largest home improvement retailer, today reported net earnings of $838 million for the second quarter, up 23 percent from a year ago. Sales for the quarter totaled $12.618 billion, an increase of 21 percent. And comparable store sales rose 6 percent.
"The momentum continues," said president and ceo Arthur M. Blank. "New business initiatives such as our pro program and our entry into the major appliance arena are creating excitement in Home Depot stores even as we prepare to launch e-commerce on our website and accelerate the expansion of our successful EXPO Design Centers.
During quarter, The Home Depot opened 41 new stores, for a total of 1,011 stores with approximately 109 million square feet of selling space. The stores include 928 Home Depot stores, 17 EXPO Design Centers, and two Villager's Hardware stores in the United States; 57 Home Depot stores in Canada; 4 Home Depotstores in Chile; and 2 Home Depot stores in Puerto Rico. The company also recently opened its first The Home Depot Floor Store, a test format in Plano, Texas.
And Lowe's Cos. (Wilkesboro, N.C.) posted a 21 percent net income for the second quarter, with a 19 percent jump in sales to $5.26 billion. Same-store sales jumped, too, but only by 3.7 percent. Some of that was attributed to the drop in sales at Eagle Hardware & Garden's 36 stores that Lowe's acquired last year. Lowe's has tried to unify the merchandise mix among Eagle and Lowe's stores, changing product lines and store displays and confusing Eagle customers. And some of the lower-than-expected same store sales performance was attributed to a slowdown in new-home construction and decline in lumber prices.
At the same time, D.I.Y. Home Warehouse Inc. (Cleveland) an 11-store warehouse-format home center chain in Northeast Ohio, has announced it will be closing two of those units, in North Randall and Akron, due to "disappointing sales and profitability levels." The retailer expects to conduct liquidation sales at both locations later this week.