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With a total of 2,278 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, and Mexico, Home Depot is as familiar a name in retail home goods as any.
Founded in 1978, Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, knows how to generate customer loyalty, customer engagement, and memorable customer experiences and has evolved as technology has changed the face of consumer interactions and expectations.
Home Depot recently reported sales of $22.2 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, which represents a 5.8 percent increase over the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 were positive 5.8 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 6.3 percent.
Sales for fiscal 2016 were $94.6 billion, an increase of nearly 7 percent from fiscal 2015. Total company comparable store sales for fiscal 2016 increased 5.6 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 6.2 percent for the year.
“Our focus on providing localized and innovative product selection, improving the interconnected customer experience, and driving productivity resulted in record sales and net earnings for 2016,” Home Depot CEO Craig Menear said during the recent earnings call. “Our associates responded to a healthy housing market and strong customer demand, and I'd like to thank them for their execution, hard work and continued dedication to our customers.”
So how does this nearly 40-year-old company annually churn out impressive numbers while engaging customers in a highly successful fashion, gaining more and more brand loyalty as time moves forward?
Clay Walton-House, principal and head of the global customer loyalty and retention practice at Lenati, told Loyalty360 that Home Depot has “continued to beat competitors through a more deliberate and aggressive focus on innovation of its core business model, allowing them to better serve the needs of a diverse group of customers, from independent homeowners to general contractors. This has positioned them for growth as competitors like Lowe’s struggle to keep up.”
Specifically, Walton-House noted, Home Depot has invested in digital heavily over the past few years, improving its e-commerce shopping experience and developing a mobile app that serves as a real value-added utility to customers while in-store, including product finder features and more.
“These value-added experiences and improved shopping journey are elements that continue to build preference and loyalty within its customer base,” Walton-House added.
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