In a year that many have labeled as disruptive, retailers large and small in 2017 have worked to develop new initiatives that serve to further merge store and e-commerce operations while also meeting the ever-changing needs of a more fickle and educated consumer base.
While some retailers have struggled to meet current-day challenges, others have taken positive steps forward to establish foundations upon which they hope to boost sales and gain market share in 2018.
HomeWorld’s first annual Retailers to Watch, in the November 6 issue, looks at eight retailers from various channels making big moves to reinforce their futures. Selected by the HomeWorld editorial staff, each of the retailers chosen are taking aim at top-level sales growth in the year ahead with housewares and home at the forefront of their growth strategies.
The Home Depot
Total Stores: 2,282 (as of Q2 FY2017)
2016 Total Sales (in millions): $94,595
2016 Housewares Sales (in millions): $2,628
OVERVIEW: Through the first half of its 2017 fiscal year, The Home Depot has seen overall sales and comparable store sales continue to gain momentum. In the second quarter, the nation’s largest home center retailer reported a 6.2% year-over-year sales increase with comparable stores sales at its U.S.-based stores up 6.6%.
The retailer is also expected to see strong third quarter sales given the rush on its stores in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico before and after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Given the repairs continuing in these and other areas impacted by the storms, Home Depot should continue to benefit for the remainder of the year.
WHAT TO WATCH: For more than a year, Home Depot’s housewares merchandising team has been working to develop its housewares assortment. In its Fall Décor 2017 96-page catalog “Company’s Coming,” the retailer featured an array of branded housewares along with a broad selection of furniture, lighting and other decorative accessories. On each page of the catalog, consumers are pointed to HomeDepot.com when looking to make a purchase.
While having a retailer the size of Home Depot is a shot in the arm for the housewares industry, how the home center chain continues to evolve its assortment of housewares and home furnishings will be closely watched.
The home center chain is expanding its assortment by using its big-box stores and its catalog and e-commerce operations in dramatically different ways. The stores continue to maintain their hardware/home center feel with merchandise focused on home renovation and repair. The selection of housewares, furniture and home décor now seen in its catalogs and website is focused on helping homeowners accessorize after the new pipes, walls and windows have been installed.
Should the expansion of housewares and home décor products have success, will Home Depot be tempted to look for space in its already packed stores for a selection of these items? Only time will tell.
2018 Retailers To Watch (click on name for profile)