If Lowe’s sales are any indicator of home improvement’s future, the DIY renovation boom that took over headlines the past two years may be headed for a cooldown.
The home improvement giant reported a disappointing sales outlook in mid-December, but positive data from the home building sector and hopeful comments from executives propped Lowe’s stock back up. Still, Chief Financial Officer Dave Denton confirmed the company is preparing for a “modest sector pullback in 2022.”
Lowe’s stock jumped 60% in 2021 as more Americans tackled DIY projects. This year could mean a possible drop of 3% for Lowe’s, or even a flat fiscal year, said Denton.
The company’s new ventures show there’s an understanding the COVID-fueled DIY housing and reno boom won’t last much longer. Instead, homeowners may use their spare cash for traveling and entertainment.
Lowe’s is trying to stay in the green and expand market share by reaching the pro sector more, launching new private labels, expanding its e-commerce, and targeting older adults wanting to age in place.
One private label launched last year was Origin 21, a modern decor brand, and another 2021 launch includes the aging adult-focused effort in partnership with the AARP called Livable Home. Lowe’s goal for Livable Home includes becoming a one-stop-shop for items such as grab bars, non-slip floors, wheelchair ramps, and walk-in bathtubs. Livable Home currently offers online articles and videos and will become embedded into 500 stores.
Lowe’s most significant attempt to capture the pro sector was the launch of its Lowe’s For Pros Loyalty program in 2020, and the subsequent launch of the Pro Shopping Experience in spring 2021 featuring a Pro Zone in-store section, flexible credit options specific for industry pros, new Dedicated Pro Checkout lanes, Pro Trailer Parking for extended trailer parking spots, and a Convenience Rack with personal care items never sold before in Lowe’s. The company also launched a PROvember initiative and a Pro Pulse Survey.
These new pro offerings compete with Home Depot, which reports that 45% of its $132 billion in annual sales comes from the pro sector.
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