"Our Pro business grew twice as fast as our DIY customer in the first quarter."
Carol Tome, CFO and Executive Vice President of Corporate Services for Home Depot, summed up one of the key reasons the DIY chain performed so well in its first quarter earnings.
"It was pretty balanced between our big-ticket Pro and our small spend Pro as well," Craig Menear, Chairman, CEO and President added.
tED magazine reported Home Depot earned $2.0 billion in earnings for the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, a 4.9% increase over the same period last year. The DIY chain reported strong results in a wide variety of areas, including seasonal departments that usually perform well in the spring. However, it's the growth in the Pro Customer area that has executives talking.
"As Pro sales once again outpaced the DIY sales in the quarter, we recognized that Pro customers have needs that go beyond our traditional in store offerings," Menear told reporters. "And we believe that the work we are doing to strengthen our sales support, assortment, and fulfillment for this customer base continues to resonate."
Menear reports the tool business has been very successful, as has been the acquisition of Interline back in July of 2015. Home Depot now has Interline's catalog of products in more than 1500 stores. "We continue to roll out use case 2, which enables Interline customers to shop Home Depot stores using a swipe card that is linked to their Interline account. Interline sales growth outpaced the company average in the quarter and we remain very excited about the opportunity that Interline provides," Menear said. He added that the Interline success is ahead of the company's anticipation, and Menear is "excited about the opportunity with Interline as we go forward."
Home Depot also reported strong growth in Pro Customer sales in Wiring and Commercial Industrial Lighting. Kevin Hoffman, Senior Vice President of Online Sales, says more and more Pro customers are shopping for those products online. "We see great visit traction—pros shopping online, looking for inventory levels, looking at pricing, and that's been working very, very well for us as well," Hoffman said.