Millions of Americans transitioned to remote work in 2020, reconfiguring homes to be makeshift classrooms and offices. One of the big beneficiaries of the new live/work/play setup has been home goods retailer Home Depot.
A recent report from TradingPlatforms noted that Home Depot’s net sales increased by over $20 billion in 2020 to $132 billion at year’s end – nearly a 20% increase year-over-year. Despite ongoing lockdowns, social distancing and cutbacks on how many customers can enter the store at a time, Home Depot still managed to boost customer transactions by nearly 9% from the year prior.
So what were all these homeowners working on? According to a survey by Hippo.com, 54% of respondents said they made at least one home improvement last year, with the bulk having made renovations to their backyard, kitchen and home office at 21%, 20.1%, and 18.4% respectively. The share of people who made improvements to their home that amounted to more than $10,000 was 10%, double that of pre-COVID-19 levels.
In particular, Home Depot’s Indoor Garden category made up the largest share of its net sales globally at over $14 billion – around 10.8% of Home Depot’s total net sales for the entire year, and 30% higher for the garden section over 2019.
Home Depot’s lumber category was the only sector that experienced a greater year over year increase, jumping 43.3%. Lumber prices are up more than 170% over the last year, and wholesalers and builders have struggled to acquire enough material for new builds and renovations.
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The National Association of Home Builders remodeling market index found that remodelers are confident all this restoration will continue in to 2021. In the first quarter, survey respondents posted a reading of 86, up 38 points from the first quarter of 2020.
“The remodeling market has recovered from the pandemic and continues to grow as the economy strengthens,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Steve Cunningham. “Increased household savings during the second half of 2020 have lifted budgets available for home improvement projects. However, demand is stronger than many remodelers can handle, resulting in being forced to turn work away.”