Home Depot And Lowe’s Still Lead Home Improvement Market

The annual rankings by Home Channel News of the 500 largest retailers in the home improvement product channel recently were announced. 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, 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 adds up to many miles of new aisles, when you consider that their stores average 115,000 square feet.

These new stores offer a sense of just how fast Home Depot and Lowe’s are growing compared to other players 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.

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