Can Lowe’s Overtake Home Depot’s Top Spot?

Where do you shop for home improvement projects? For many Americans, increasingly, the answer is Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW). Home Depot (NYSE: HD), a Dow Jones Industrial Average component and the largest U.S. home improvement retailer, benefited enormously from the recent positive trends in home improvement. But competitor Lowe’s did even better, and is right on its heels for the top spot. Can Home Depot keep its lead, or is it in danger of being overtaken by Lowe’s?

Why Home Depot needs to worry

Home Depot has been the leading home improvement chain for decades, being the first to create and expand its big box stores across the U.S. Annual sales came in at more than $110 billion in 2019, a 2% increase over the prior year. The company is admired as solution-driven and agile, and as it helps people across the country with do-it-yourself building projects, sales continue to grow.

Lowe’s is smaller than Home Depot in both store count and sales, and was struggling before Marvin Ellison joined as CEO in 2018. He set a plan to turn the company around, and it’s starting to take shape.

White king knocking off black king in Chess.

Image source: Getty Images.

As recently as February of this year, Lowe’s had an inadequate digital program, running way behind Home Depot, and almost all of its growth came from stores. But that gave the company great leverage, because as soon as it invested in a digital overhaul, sales exploded. The second quarter’s huge increase was powered by a 135% digital spike.

Lowe’s is making all sorts of improvements through its retail fundamental strategy. It revamped its website and mobile app, and moved over to the cloud. During the next year and a half, it’s planning to open a large number of distribution and fulfillment centers. It recently launched a professional tool rental program, and is focusing on pros with a new loyalty program. It’s also investing in renovating and modernizing stores. And it’s already No. 1 in certain categories. The company recently announced that it’s starting locker pickups, an innovation that Home Depot began two years ago. 

Lowe’s fiscal 2019 sales were $72 billion versus Home Depot’s $110 billion, but second-quarter 2020 earnings were creeping closer, with a 34% sales increase versus Home Depot’s 23% rise.

Metric Q2 2020 Q1 2020 Q4 2019 Q3 2019
Home Depot comps 23% 6% 5% 3%
Lowe’s comps 34% 12% 3% 3%
Home Depot digital 100% 80% 21% 22%
Lowe’s digital 130% 80% 3% 3%

Data source: Home Depot and Lowe’s quarterly reports.

How Home Depot is keeping its lead

Home Depot has an eye on the future, and that led to its multi-billion dollar investment in its One Home Depot strategy. This is meant to integrate all aspects of the company’s operations for a seamless shopping experience. This digital and distribution overhaul impacted its earnings in the short term, but long term, it has already paid off in big wins during the pandemic. And it means the top home improvement retailer still

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The Home Depot’s Labor Day Savings Event

As holidays go, Labor Day tends to generate as much excitement as a meatloaf sandwich. You’re glad to see that Sunday meatloaf come around again, but it’s not like you’re going to create an Instagram Story about it.

That is, unless you’re looking for amazing savings. Labor Day has largely turned into a shopping holiday, where people scour the internet for the latest and greatest deals on home goods and more. This year, you won’t have to look far because The Home Depot’s Labor Day Savings Event is officially on.

The savings are comprehensive: home decor, furniture, bath and bedding, appliances, kitchenware, storage and cleaning, and hooks and hanging apparatuses. In other words, it’s enough to basically refresh everything in your home but the bones. Plus, it’s generous — you can get up to 40% off The Home Depot’s already low prices. The Labor Day Savings Event at The Home Depot starts early and lasts over one whole month, live now through October 7.

Obviously, with all the wide variety of products you can snag, it’d be impossible to cover everything you could get for a steal. So instead we’ve hand-picked a few of our favorites.

Beautyrest Silver 15-Inch Medium Hybrid Tight Top King Mattress ($721.03, originally $1,201.72; homedepot.com)

Beautyrest Silver 15-Inch Medium Hybrid Tight Top King Mattress

Beautyrest Silver 15-Inch Medium Hybrid Tight Top King Mattress

PHOTO:
The Home Depot

This Beautyrest mattress gives you cutting-edge sleeping technology minus the over-inflated price. It’s 40% off right now and provides targeted support that is built to last, wicks away moisture, conforms to your unique shape and, best of all, has a motion-isolating feature that ensures restless sleepers won’t rob their partners of precious z’s.

Becky Cameron 4-Piece White Solid Microfiber King Sheet Set ($27.05, originally $31.56; homedepot.com)

Becky Cameron 4-Piece White Solid Microfiber King Sheet Set

Becky Cameron 4-Piece White Solid Microfiber King Sheet Set

PHOTO:
The Home Depot

Naturally, a new mattress calls for a new set of sheets, and the Becky Cameron four-piece microfiber set is a bargain at 14% off. It includes one flat sheet, one fitted sheet and two pillowcases, and is made from an antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, durable material that’s also deep-pocketed — so it stays on your brand-new mattress instead of curling around your feet.

StyleWell 16-Piece Bright Mix & Match Stoneware Dinnerware Set ($29.99, originally $44.98; homedepot.com)

StyleWell 16-Piece Bright Mix & Match Stoneware Dinnerware Set

StyleWell 16-Piece Bright Mix & Match Stoneware Dinnerware Set

PHOTO:
The Home Depot

Colorful, fun and easy to clean, this stoneware set has everything you need for a full family dinner (or a cozy meal for two couples). It features four dinner plates, salad plates, bowls and mugs in ruby red, sunrise yellow, emerald green, sail blue and classic white. All 16 pieces are dishwasher-safe, and the fact that The Home Depot is overstocked with this popular item means you can get it for an impressive 33% off.

Kalorik Retro 10-Cup Black Drip Coffee Maker ($52.99, originally $65.99; homedepot.com)

Kalorik Retro 10-Cup Black Drip Coffee Maker

Kalorik Retro 10-Cup Black Drip Coffee Maker

PHOTO:
The Home Depot

If you’ve already upgraded your mattress and sheets to get a

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