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Contractors are giving Home Depot a leg-up on Lowe's

October 11, 2021

Contractors are giving Home Depot a leg-up on Lowe's

Consumer behaviors are shifting, as they always do. In the world of Home Improvement, the tide is turning in favor of Home Depot vs. Lowes. What do we mean? Check out the chart below, showcasing YoY changes in the major trends driving spend at big box home improvement companies.
home renovation trends
Can you see what we see? Consumers trends like moving, buying a home, and DIY home improvement are waning on a YoY basis. Instead, as "life" resumes, consumers are increasingly opting to hire contractors to handle home improvement projects. Mentions of hiring a contractor are +22% higher YoY. Leadership at Home Depot and Lowe's have indicated they are recording pent-up demand for professional projects because consumers now feel comfortable inviting contractors into their homes...and they'd rather spend time on other things, like dining out, and travel. This shift from DIY to professional contractors gives Home Depot a serious advantage. Why? Around ~45% of Home Depot's total sales are driven by professional projects vs. 20-25% at Lowe's. You can see this playing out in near-term consumer demand and happiness for both companies.
home renovation scatter
Not only does Home Depot boast higher Happiness levels 3 points higher vs. Lowe's, but the company is maintaining demand levels on a QoQ basis vs. the drop recorded by LOW. And research suggests contractor-driven home improvements can be expected to rise. Last year's home buyers are now facing pricier renovations, driven by supply chain issues and labor shortages that pushed professional project timelines back. According to a Bank of America survey, ~Half of millennials started their home improvement projects within six months of their purchase, completed smaller, more budget-friendly projects such as painting and landscaping first. However, these consumers haven't yet finished larger projects like bathroom and kitchen remodels.

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