Do You Know HD?

You may think you know Home Depot, but do you really?

I only ask that because I thought I did – only to find out a few new juicy tidbits about the mega-retailer during a Retail Forward Webinar recently. And why should it matter? Because Depot is looking to diversify its offerings, hire more qualified employees, cater to more female customers and improve its layout and displays to inspire customers. For independent retailers, that’s dangerous, because that’s their bread and butter.

But The Home Depot is looking at significantly slowing market share growth, so it has to compensate by thoroughly servicing the customers it does attract.

The Retail Forward Webinar put Home Depot’s place in the home improvement market in perspective with the other major boxes – Lowe’s, Wal-Mart and Sears.

Depot’s sales are nearly twice that of Lowe’s, which trails a distant second in the race for home improvement customers. Wal-Mart, however, takes over the No. 2 spot when broken down into lawn and garden specifics. So Lowe’s isn’t even second in the chain, it’s Wal-Mart, a surprising fact for many independent retailers. 

Reinventing Orange

Home Depot’s market share in the home improvement channel is flatlining at around 21.7 percent, and is projected to only grow to 22.7 percent by 2010, according to Steve Spiwak, the author of a Retail Forward exclusive report called Home Depot 2010.

Spiwak led the Webinar and highlighted changes Depot is making to attract a more diverse customer base and expand its offerings beyond just products to counteract the effect of that flatlining market share. According to Spiwak, here are a few of Depot’s current and future plans for evolution:

? Changing store layout and signage to create a more pleasing and easy-to-shop atmosphere.

? Offering new services, such as installation and a wholesale distribution division (called HD Supply, whose sales grew 159 percent in the third quarter 2006 – that’s right, 159 percent).

? Appealing to women with more vignettes and new products.

? A good/better/best system of pricing that encourages buying up, rather than only offering the lowest end version of a product. This pricing system is expected to occur in all aspects of the store, including the live goods.

? Tapping into the financial comfort of its Baby Boomer customers – a Home Depot customer is more likely than a Lowe’s customer to pull in a six-figure income, according to Retail Forward’s studies.

? Increasing the amount of exclusive brands and providing more selection among those products.

? Locating in densely populated urban areas, as well as building stores on much smaller footprints in rural areas.

? Employing people with more training and background skills.

? Expanding internationally.  

Opportunities And Threats

During the beginning of CEO Bob Nardelli’s tenure, the focus was less on what customers could see and more on backroom efficiencies in supply chain and sourcing. Now, however, Depot is going to turn a well-trained eye on what customers experience on a daily basis – customer service, product mix, display and layout to improve its relationship with consumers.

And let’s talk about those consumers for a second. It’s obvious the majority are men, and don’t expect Depot to forego its sponsorship of ESPN’s College Gameday anytime soon. But do expect to see more female-focused advertising and changes in the store to appeal to women.

For growers servicing The Home Depot, this could mean more pull-through marketing to help promote the products (Depot’s looking at more vignettes to attract women) and better product packaging.

For growers servicing independent garden centers, the competition is toughening up even more, so you’ll be tasked with finding new solutions to give independents a unique product.

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories

March 17, 2018

National Garden Bureau Once Again Bringing Garden Write…

The National Garden Bureau is again hitting the road for California Spring Trials (CAST) with influential garden communicators, with the goal of connecting breeders and brokers with consumers via these influencers with large followings.

Read More

March 16, 2018

Knock Out Rose Family Has New Website

Star Roses and Plants recently launched the new Knock Out Roses website, which features how-to tips, gardening inspiration, and more.

Read More
John Sorenson

March 15, 2018

Vestaron CEO John Sorenson Dies at Age 68

Sorenson, a long-time crop protection specialist in the horticulture industry, was a key figure in Vestaron’s launch of new and innovative biological products.

Read More
Dramm TracFOG Nozzle Extension

March 14, 2018

Dramm Offering New Video Chat Option for Service Issues…

The Dramm Corporation recently introduced two new resources for its greenhouse grower customers to deal with indoor growing conditions.

Read More
Gary Mangum

March 14, 2018

Bell Nursery Acquired by Central Garden & Pet

Greenhouse Grower just learned that Bell Nursery, headquartered in Elkridge, MD, has been acquired by Central Garden & Pet Company, a leading innovator, producer, and distributor of branded and private label products for the lawn and garden and pet supplies markets.

Read More

March 13, 2018

Greenhouse Biocontrol Goes Mainstream

Biological control has moved into the mainstream for greenhouse growers. And the timing couldn’t be better, as consumer demands for more sustainable production methods for the plants they buy are moving back upstream.

Read More

March 13, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region Preview: …

Check out this California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region preview of new varieties from Benary, Thompson & Morgan, American Takii, Sakata Seed, Beekenkamp, and Plug Connection.

Read More

March 12, 2018

Eason Horticultural Resources Adds to its National Sale…

Roger Kehoe joins the company as a Sales and Production Management Expert. He was most recently the Director of Young Plant Production at the Color Division of Costa Farms.

Read More

March 11, 2018

National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture Releases …

A new series of four #PlantsDoThat Inside infographics focuses on the multitude of ways indoor plants affect where we live, where we work, where we heal, and where we learn. The first two infographics are now available.

Read More
Downy mildew sporulation on underside of leaf

March 10, 2018

Segovis Fungicide Now Available to Ornamental Growers i…

Segovis, from Syngenta, features a unique active ingredient that helps control downy mildew and Phytophthora.

Read More
Penn State University campus

March 9, 2018

Check Out the Top 40 Ag Colleges in the World

The most recent World University Ranking by Subject report includes a breakdown of the top agricultural colleges. Find out if your alma mater made the list!

Read More

March 9, 2018

GCA Announces Complete Seattle Garden Center Summer Tou…

The Garden Centers of America Summer Tour in Seattle will feature visits to some of the most unique plant retailers in the Pacific Northwest.

Read More

March 8, 2018

Southern Nursery Association to Award $18,000 in Schola…

The deadline for application is May 27, and 12 scholarships are expected to be awarded.

Read More

March 7, 2018

BASF Names New Director of Its Specialty Crops Business

Stephanie Jensen will focus on new and innovative solutions for growers in the pest control, turf, and ornamentals markets.

Read More

March 6, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region Preview: …

Check out this California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region preview of new varieties from Spring Meadow Nursery, Syngenta Flowers, Danziger, Cohen Nurseries, Hishtil Nurseries, Jaldety Nurseries, and Nir Nurseries.

Read More

March 6, 2018

How Green Leaf Plants Continues to Thrive in the Young …

During a time of uncertainty in some sectors of the market, Green Leaf Plants remains committed to supplying industry-leading plant quality, with a diverse product line.

Read More

March 6, 2018

Allan Armitage: Columnist, Author, Professor … Te…

Dr. Allan Armitage is well-known in the horticulture industry for his passion for plants. That passion also applies to tennis, as evidenced by his tennis team’s run to a national championship.

Read More

March 6, 2018

SNA Conference Will Once Again Co-Locate with MANTS in …

Participants of the 2018 SNA Conference were positive about the location, the meeting space, and the added convenience of the conference being held two days before the opening of MANTS.

Read More