The annual ranking by Home Channel News of the 500 largest retailers in the home improvement product channel hit the streets recently, and it was not surprising that Home Depot and Lowe's remain firmly entrenched in the top spots.
With $64.8 billion in 2003 sales, an 11.3 percent increase, the Atlanta-based Home Depot maintained the top spot on the Home Channel News list by a wide margin.
As the second largest retailer in this market, Lowe's, Mooresville, N.C., grew 18.1 percent to $30.8 billion in annual sales. The two companies opened a combined total of 315 new stores in 2003 (Home Depot with 217, and Lowe's with 98). That's many miles of new aisles. In total, these openings represent more than 36 million square feet of new retail space.
These new stores offer a sense of how fast Home Depot and Lowe's are growing compared to others in this market. The next largest home center, Menard's, Eau Claire, Wis., opened 11 new stores in 2003. This year's listing included at least two other types of retailers — Wal-Mart, Bentonville, Ark.; and Sears, Chicago — because of the huge volume of home improvement products they sell. Wal-Mart, which registered a 21.7 percent sales gain in home improvement products, opened 151 stores.
Electrical products and residential lighting continue to occupy a prominent position in these stores. But according to Home Center News' “Top 500,” electrical products account for a relatively small 4.75 percent of the average retailer's product sales in the home improvement sales. That's a percentage comparable to kitchen/cabinets (4.84 percent), roofing (4.53 percent) and hardware (4.41 percent). But dwarfed by sales of lumber and plywood (16.76 percent); lawn and garden (12.17 percent); flooring (8.9 percent); paint and sundries (8.84 percent); plumbing and bath (8.71 percent); tools (8.11 percent); and doors and windows (7.49 percent).
For more information on the Home Center News “Top 500,” check out www.homechannelnews.com