A sampling of e-retailer and vendor announcements from the NRF show floor this week.
Online sales grow nearly 40% for Home Depot in the first quarter of fiscal 2014
After 50% web sales growth in last year’s fourth quarter following the acquisition of Blinds.com, Home Depot Inc. continued its e-commerce surge with 39% web sales growth in the first quarter of 2014. Though the retailer did not break out specific web sales numbers, it did disclose that web sales represented 4.2% of its total sales, which grew nearly 3% to $19.69 billion, in the first quarter.
For the quarter ended May 4, 2014, Home Depot, No. 9 in the Top 500 Guide, reported:
- Web sales accounted for 4.2% of total sales, up from 3.1% in last year’s first quarter.
- Net sales increased about 3% to $19.69 billion from $19.12 billion during the same period last year.
- Based on the above metrics, Internet Retailer calculates that web sales in Q1 increased about 39.5% to $826.9 million from $592.8 million last year.
- Net earnings were $1.38 billion, up 12.2% from $1.23 billion last year.
- Comparable-store sales increased 2.6%.
The near 40% growth in web sales was higher than the company expected heading into the quarter, said chief financial officer and executive vice president of corporate services Carol Tome in a May 20 earnings call. “I'd say first of all our dotcom business grew faster than what we planned. So we were very pleased by this,” said Tome. “Remember, we are ‘anniversarying’ the launch of Buy Online Ship to Store. So we had expected the growth rates to slow down.” Tome said almost $100 million of the $232 million in retailer’s first quarter web sales growth was related to Buy Online Ship to Store sales. “It's a business that we continue to invest into, because it's part of our interconnected retail strategy.”
Home Depot also launched a dedicated e-commerce site for Mexico, after experiencing its 42nd consecutive quarter of positive comp-store sales there. The Mexican e-commerce site now serves limited geographies, but Home Depot eventually plans to cover the entire country.
Chairman and CEO Frank Blake was also pleased with the company’s e-commerce growth in the quarter. “We are consistently seeing over 3 million visits per day and our conversion rate continues to increase,” Blake said in the earnings call. “Also our dotcom presence was a contributing factor to our transaction growth.”