Home Depot, powered by strong holiday sales and an effective new marketing campaign, says its fourth-quarter results beat expectations. And as it realizes more gains from its $11 billion investment in omnichannel efforts, it says it is on track for substantial sales gains in the coming year.
The Atlanta-based DIY powerhouse says comparable sales surged 5.2% in the fiscal fourth quarter, with a gain of 5.3% in the U.S. Total sales, however, eased 2.7% to $25.8 billion, down from $26.5 billion in the prior-year period. Online sales jumped by 21%. And net earnings advanced to $2.5 billion, from $2.3 billion.
The company attributed its performance to sturdier consumer spending, ongoing investments in its digital business and its recently launched ad campaign, which touts its expanding mobile and online capabilities.
The new tagline, “How doers get more done,” drove the largest single-day downloads of its mobile app. It also generated double-digit growth in the use of mobile tools like product locator and image search.
Additionally, it says that 50% of online orders were picked up in stores.
And while there was a small gain in the number of transactions, which rose 0.8%, average ticket prices rose a hefty 4.4%.
For the year ahead, the retailer is anticipating sales growth of between 3.5 and 4%
It’s now two years into its three-year $11 billion investment program, dubbed One Home Depot. And it has already generated an additional $9 billion in sales this year, which it says is “a level of growth unmatched in our market.”
Seth Basham, an analyst who follows the company for Wedbush Securities, writes that Home Depot’s ability to beat expectations came from “strong sales in more heavily promoted holiday categories including appliances and Pro sales,” as well as its record Black Friday results.
And while the retailer made gains in all categories, home décor items also sold exceptionally well.