Home Depot reports 2.3% decline in fiscal Q1 sales

Company says slow start to spring season plus softness in consumer home improvement spending contributed to decline

ATLANTA — Citing continued softness in some larger discretionary home improvement projects, retailer Home Depot reported a 2.3% decrease in overall net sales for its first fiscal quarter ended April 28.

Sales for its total 2,337 stores at the end of the first quarter totaled $36.4 billion, compared to $37.3 billion the same period last year.  Same-store sales decreased 2.8%.

The company remains profitable with net earnings of $3.6 billion, or $3.63 per share, down 7% from $3.9 billion, or $3.82 per share, last year.

Gross profits for the quarter totaled $23.9 billion, down 2.9% from $24.7 billion last year. Its operating income also took a hit, declining 8.5% during the quarter to $5.1 billion, compared with $5.6 billion the same period last year.

Other highlights of the report were as follows:

+ The company reported 386.8 million customer transactions during the quarter, down 1% from the 390.9 million the same period last year.

+ The average ticket was $90.68, down 1.3% from the $91.92 reported last year

+ Sales per retail square foot totaled $572.69, down 3.4% from the $592.94 reported last year.

Ted Decker, chair, president and chief executive officer, said that during the quarter, the Home Depot team “executed at a high level” and noted that the company continues to grow its market share.

“And while the quarter was impacted by a delayed start to spring and continued softness in certain larger discretionary projects, we feel great about our store readiness, our product assortment in stores and online and our associate engagement,” Decker said. “Our associates are energized and ready to serve our customers as spring breaks across the country. I would like to thank them for their continued hard work and dedication to serving our customers and communities.”

While furniture is not a major category in Home Depot stores compared to building materials, cabinetry and lawn and garden, it has a major presence on the company’s website, www.homedepot.com. Customers can choose from a variety of categories including bedroom, living room, dining room, home office, youth furniture, baby furniture, mattresses and outdoor furniture on the site, and pick their purchases up at the store or have them delivered to their home, in many cases free of charge.

Key furniture brands sold on its website include Sauder, Walker Edison, South Shore, Storkcraft, Safavieh, Brookside, Stylewell, Noble House and Home Decorators Collection. Key bedding brands include Sealy, Tempur-Pedic and Beautyrest.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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