Lowe’s Companies Inc. grew sales in the second quarter, thanks to good spring weather that drove increased outdoor projects, an upgraded e-commerce site and continued growth of online sales to professionals through its LowesForPros.com website.
E-commerce grew 14% in the quarter over the prior-year quarter, Richard Maltsbarger, chief development officer and president of international operations, told analysts on the company’s earnings call this week. Sales to building design and construction professionals on LowesForPros.com, grew nearly 18%, chief financial officer Robert Hull told analysts, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.
Lowe’s does not break out e-commerce or business-to-business online sales, but CEO Robert Niblock noted that B2B sales continue to account for 30% of total company sales. That translates into $5.48 billion in the second quarter, up by 5.4% from $5.20 billion in the same period last year.
The company launched an enhanced LowesForPros.com in August 2015 that was designed to let professional customers make and track purchases on a computer, tablet or smartphone and to choose to pick up online orders in-store or have orders delivered directly to their business or jobsite, Lowe’s says. The upgraded website offered more efficient functionality enabling professionals to develop requisition lists, access purchase history reports and create custom catalogs. LowesForPros.com enables business customers to manage their spending by setting up a purchase approval process, and lets them process tax-exempt transactions.
For the quarter ended July 29 Lowe’s, No. 121 in the 2016 B2B E-Commerce 300, reported:
- Total sales of $18.26 billion, up by 5.2% from $17.35 billion.
- U.S. comparable-store sales increased 1.9%.
- Net income of $1.17 billion compared with net income of $1.13 billion in the same period last year.
Lowe’s launched a redesigned B2C website in the second quarter, Michael Jones, chief customer officer, said on the earnings call. He said the redesign resulted in improved functionality and content display on touch-screen mobile devices, and improvements in product recommendations, site search results and click-to-chat capabilities. The redesigned site also offers larger project images and expanded product views, including video content.
For the first six months of fiscal 2016 Lowe’s reported:
- Total sales of $33.49 billion, up by 6.4% from $31.48 billion
- U.S. comparable-store sales increased 4.4%.
- Net income of $2.05 billion compared with net income of $1.80 billion in the first half of fiscal 2015.
In February 2016, Lowe’s acquired Canadian home improvement retailer Rona Inc. for approximately $2.3 billion.
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