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Both retailers say online sales grew despite consumers slowing down on home improvement projects after a boom in 2020 and 2021.

The Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos. Inc. both reported online sales growth in the single digits. Home Depot reported digital sales grew 1% in its fiscal second quarter ended July 30. Lowe’s reported online sales grew 6.9% for the second quarter ended August 4.

Home Depot ranks No. 4 in the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of North America’s online retailers by web sales. Lowe’s ranks No. 12 in the Top 1000.

Home Depot revenue and sales

Home Depot reported sales declined 2% year over year to $42.9 billion in the second quarter. Comparable sales were down 2%, too. Net earnings also declined, to $4.7 billion in 2023 from $5.2 billion in Q2 of 2022.

The home improvement retailer managed to grow online sales slightly, even as total sales declined. That also represents a change from Q1 of 2023, when online sales declined 2.9% year over year.

“We know the vast majority of our customers engage with us in an interconnected manner. Whether it be through project inspiration and research, transacting, fulfillment or support, our customers blend the physical and digital world,” Billy Bastek, Home Depot executive vice president of merchandising, told investors in a call.


Just under half of online orders were fulfilled through stores, he said. 

Lowe’s revenue and sales

Lowe’s reported $25 billion in total sales for the quarter, declining 8.9% from $27.5 billion in 2022. Net earnings also declined, to $2.7 billion from $3 billion. Comparable sales also decreased 1.6% year over year, Lowe’s said. 

Strong online sales and professional customers also offset lumber deflation and consumers pulling back on discretionary spending, Lowe’s said. About half of online sales are picked up in stores, the retailer said.

“Our investments in our Total Home strategy continued to drive growth across Pro and online this quarter,” Marvin Ellison, CEO and chairman, said in a statement.  “And we are excited by our recent launch of same-day delivery nationwide and the expansion of our rural merchandising framework to roughly 300 stores.”


Big purchases declined

Lowe’s and Home Depot executives both pointed to a pullback in consumer spending on large DIY projects in the quarter. Meanwhile, consumers remained willing to spend on smaller projects. 

“While there was strength in categories associated with smaller projects, we did see continued pressure in certain big-ticket, discretionary categories. We remain very positive on the medium-to-long-term outlook for home improvement and our ability to grow share in a large and fragmented market,” Bastek said. 

Transactions of $1,000 and up decreased 5.5%, Home Depot said.

“After three years of unprecedented demand in the home improvement market, we continue to see softer engagement in big-ticket discretionary categories like patio and appliances that likely reflects a pull forward of these single-item purchases and deferral,” Bastek said.


Home Depot and Lowe’s both serve a mix of B2B and DIY consumers. Home Depot historically has more professionals, with sales split about 50-50, while Lowe’s makes about one-quarter of sales to home professionals.

Many home projects and improvements that might have otherwise happened in 2022 and 2023 were pushed forward by consumers during the pandemic, growing the home improvement stores’ bottom lines, says Brian Yarbrough, senior analyst at financial investment firm Edward Jones. Those consumers are then not pursuing those projects this year, producing slowdowns for Home Depot and Lowe’s. However, an aging housing stock means that the long-term outlook for DIY and home improvement is good, Yarbrough says. 

Lowe’s is catching up to Home Depot in online sales

Although Lowe’s grew online sales at about six times the rate of Home Depot, it’s not a totally fair comparison, Yarbrough says. Until the last few years, Home Depot was “a step or maybe several steps ahead of where Lowe’s was. I think it’s Lowe’s kind of catching up, so it’s a smaller base, and probably that makes it easier to grow,” he said.

Neither retailer disclosed what percentage of total sales are made online. Digital penetration of home improvement retailers in the Top 1000 only reached 11.2% in 2022, up slightly from 10.8% in 2021.


“Lowe’s has always been playing catch up in online sales, but they’ve succeeded in using their network of stores to keep the pressure on Home Depot,” says James Risley, senior analyst at Digital Commerce 360. “Both retailers have consistently been able to fulfill around half their orders from stores since before the pandemic, using a more unified inventory system to help reduce fulfillment costs.”

Lowe’s invested in its online infrastructure, making it more capable of handling online orders. In the second quarter, Lowe’s improved online shopping experience and grew conversion, the retailer said without revealing more. It also added an online fit calculator and improved search and recommendations.

Lowe’s has been more active in advancing digital initiatives for the consumer market as well, with flashy in-store wayfinding in its app and room measuring tools using augmented reality.

“I think some of those tools push users into stores, so the fact that its online sales growth has been outpacing Home Depot still shows that those kinds of investments are paying off,” Risley says.


Home Depot earnings

For the fiscal second quarter ended July 30, 2023, Home Depot reported:

  • Total sales declined 2% year over year to $42.9 billion.
  • Home Depot online sales grew 1%. 
  • Comparable sales declined 2%.
  • Net earnings declined, to $4.7 billion in 2023 from $5.2 billion in Q2 of 2022.

Lowe’s earnings

For the fiscal second quarter ended August 4, 2023, Lowe’s reported:

  • Total sales declined 8.9% to $25 billion.
  • Net earnings declined from $3 billion in the year-ago period to $2.7 billion.
  • Comparable sales declined 1.6%.

Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding. Check back for more earnings reports.

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