Home Depot(HD) is a recognized name in building supply and crafting suppiers and home improvement throughout the United States Puerta Rico, the Virgin Islands and Canada as well as China and Mexico in over 22,000 locations averaging 105,000 square footage indoors and an additional 23,000 square footage of outside garden space offering over 40,000 different kinds of building materials, home improvement supplies, appliances, and lawn and garden supplies for both the professional builders and your amateur do it yourself handyman. (https://corporate.homedepot.com/OurCompany/StoreProdServices/Pages/default.aspx).
The company’s web presence serves an estimated over 8 million people on their website, HomeDepot.com per month with an estimated number of overall visits during the month at over 21 million, as compared to chief competitors Lowes(LOW) who had an estimated number of visits in the realm of 20 million, with slightly higher individual traffic estimated at 9 million. (http://www.quantcast.com/homedepot.com, http://www.quantcast.com/lowes.com)
The company opened its first retail store on June 22, 1979 and started trading common stock on September 22, 1981 at $12.00 per share. Since that time, their stock has split a total of 13 times, the last split being a 3:2 split on December 30, 1999. The company mission statement is a value driven company holding to 8 core values: Excellent Customer Service, Taking Care of Their People, Giving Back, Doing the “Right” Thing, Creating Shareholder Value, Respect for All People, Entrepreneurial Spirit, and Building Strong Relationships. (http://ir.homedepot.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=63646&p=irol-faq#37548).
According to Chairman and CEO of Home Depot, Francis S. Blake, in the 3rd Quarter 2011 company conference call, (transcripts available :http://seekingalpha.com/article/308046-the-home-depot-s-ceo-discusses-q3-2011-results-earnings-call-transcript), company sales for the quarter were $17.3 billion, up 4.4% from 2010 figures. Comp sales were positive 4.2% and diluted earnings per share were $0.60 with US stores having a positive comp of 3.8%. Positive comps were realized in all but 5 of the company’s top 40 markets, strongest being in the New Jersey and South Atlantic regions who had significant storm impact due to the unusually harsh weather patterns. Canadian markets’ comps were essentially flat, however Mexico had positive comps, making it 32 quarters in a row of positive comp growth. Frank went on to point out that focus on customer service is still essential to the corporate strategy and that strategic team leaders rolled out 3 major initiatives during the 3rd quarter, Buy Online Pickup In-Store, A new scheduling system for the company’s associates, and a new centralized return to vendors process. Both the new scheduling system and the new return to vendor process are allowing Home Depot to increase customer facing hours in stores at the same time that they are improving overall labor productivity.
All these innovations, in combination with changes to how supplies have been leveraged and the completion of the build-out of Rapid Deployment Centers, or RDCs for short, have positioned Home Depot for even further growth in the near future as a very sound investment. Frank also mentioned during the conference call that plans are in the works for a multi-year project to replace their legacy system for merchandising.
Home Depot has proven overall to be in touch with the dynamic market around them and able to adapt and progress well into the future.