It’s the second biggest retailer in America, but Home Depot has always been known much more for screws and lumber than sconces and lighting. However, that could change in the years ahead as the company continues to beef up its home furnishings and décor business.
It hasn’t necessarily been invisible in the category so far though. The company said in a recent interview that its Home Decorators Collection is “already over a billion-dollar private brand for us in our stores and online,” and it moved further into the segment when it purchased soft home seller The Company Store last year.
In that interview, with Business Insider, company executives said it expected to build its decorating business through its own private label brands rather than with a third-party license or celebrity tie-in. “As our private-label capabilities have matured, we find we don’t really need the expertise that a third party would bring,” said merchandising EVP Ted Decker.
There appear to be several reasons for the push. One is that, as the largest player in the home improvement channel, it has maxed out on the number of physical stores it can open so it will need to increase sales within existing units to drive growth. Another is that in giving careful study to the millennial generation and their housing needs, it decided that they were nearly every bit as likely to want to own homes and improve them as previous generations, allaying fears that
perhaps they preferred to rent rather than own.
A third is that the weaknesses in competitors in the home furnishings sector made a one-stop solution more attractive.
“One of our thoughts for home décor was, ‘Why do you want to have them buy all these things and then log off Home Depot and go to Bed Bath & Beyond or Wayfair or whomever else?” Decker is quoted as saying. “The millennials are telling us that they’ll buy this product from us. So this reinforced why we wanted to add convenience and more of a solution for what’s the single biggest generation in the history of America.”
For lighting suppliers, this is all good news. Shoppers in a decorating mode will be more likely to look at lamps and hard-wired products than perhaps those just doing remodeling.
But for competitors, the Home Depot move represents another challenge in the market-share wars.