Lowe’s Proves to be the Underdog in First Quarter Results

Lowe’s is no longer satisfied with being second to Home Depot and is decreasing the sales gap between the two.

According to CNBC, the results of the first quarter reveal that the home improvement retailer had a comparable sales increase of 7.3%, including a 7.5% lift from its U.S. business.

These numbers proved to be higher than their long-time competitor, Home Depot, who reported a 6.5% gain in sales and a 7.4% sales increase in the United States.

This is the first time Lowe’s has surpassed Home Depot in sales since 2010.

Both retailers are seeing higher profits due to last year’s mild winter. People are starting projects meant for spring much earlier than they have before. Traditional retailers are struggling to stay afloat among e-commerce and changes in consumer preferences, but both Lowe’s and Home Depot are outperforming other retail categories.

“Home improvement retail is very much a bright spot in an otherwise weakish consumer environment. Clearly shoppers are choosing to shop the home improvement channel as versus other areas of retail,” Brian Nagel, senior equity research analyst at Oppenheimer and Co.

Reasons for Lowe’s success include the company’s most recent marketing campaign and better merchandise, both of which have attracted both professional and non-professional shoppers.

And demographics also matter. For instance, with more than nine million families using propane and propane accessories for various areas of their homes, including water heaters, outdoor grills, and generators, the promotions Lowe’s offers on these products could contribute to their success.

Carter Harrison, an analyst at Conlumino retail research firm, said, “Lowe’s is positioning itself well as a customer-centric player for the non-expert: a potentially weak spot for its larger rival. In our view, this positioning is well thought through and gives Lowe’s an opportunity to differentiate as well as steal share from non-home improvement players in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.”

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