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Home Depot Details 4th Quarter Earnings Success With Pro Customers

Home Depot reported solid earnings in its fourth quarter of 2017, including a strong increase in revenue year to year, and earnings per share up .08.

What the DIY did not disclose in its earnings press release is how it performed with its Pro Customers.  During its earnings call, it made a few mentions, with the same theme:  Its Pro Customer base is growing.

“We saw strength across the store led by our pro customer and our online sales continued their double-digit growth,” Edward Decker, Executive Vice-President of Merchandising told reporters during the conference call. “Looking at departments, lumber, electrical, and tools had double-digit comps in the quarter. Appliances, plumbing, and building materials were also above the company’s average to comp.”

Decker also took time to talk about Home Depot’s expansion in electricians’ tools, something that is becoming more successful for HD. “For example, we have recently updated our assortment of Klein tools for professional electricians. This includes the new 9-inch Journeyman Diagonal Cutting Pliers. The addition of these new products to our existing assortment of bit box exclusive Klein tools keeps us winning with the electrician,” Decker reported.

Another successful part of 2017 came as a result of the two large hurricanes that hit the U.S. in the third quarter of 2017.  Home Depot reported Pro Customers spent $652 million dollars directly related to hurricane recovery.

“So, overall, we’re very pleased with our Pro business in 2017 and we continue to see growth there,” Craig Menear, Chairman, CEO and President of Home Depot said.

Home Depot is also taking a “follow the customer” approach when it comes to future strategies.  Decker and Menear both said they as they see a “stronger share of wallet” from their Pro Customers, they will continue to build on that relationship.
“It’s that pro-engagement, and that one-on-one recognition, that seems to be resonating with the customer and we will carry that into next year,” Decker said.

That includes building a relationship with the Pro through online channels.

“Certainly from a learning perspective, just reinforcing what we’ve been chasing, chasing the customer and wherever they lead us, we invested significantly to eliminate a lot of friction between the different channels as we pursue our One Home Depot strategy investing in expertise and knowledge in the online property,” Kevin Hoffman, President, Online and Chief Marketing Officer said. “You’ll see more of that in 2018, you know with similar growth aspirations, we got a consistent track record of over $1 billion dollars of growth in each of the last few years in our online property and we’ll look to do that again in 2018.”

Home Depot closed its earnings conference call with a bit of confidence.  The company is seeing the same growth with larger contractors as it is with smaller ones.  “One difference that we were seeing is the rate of growth for the high spend pro is the same as the rate of growth of the low spend pro, that’s just so we are in terms of the recovery they are,” Carol Tome, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice-President of Corporate Services announced.

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