Lowe’s focuses on professionals through new virtual Jobsight tool

A look at the top hard goods retailers from NRF’s 2020 Hot Retailers list

The National Retail Federation’s annual report on the Hot 100 Retailers is based on increases in domestic sales for the most recently completed fiscal year. The breakout charts look at sector leaders.

Four hard goods retailers enjoyed double-digit gains in market share last year: Apple Stores and three home improvement and hardware retailers.

NRF 2020 Hot 100 Retailers

Check out the full list here.

Do-it-yourself merchandise forms the backbone of business at The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware. With so many confined to their homes this spring, remodeling and other DIY projects grew in popularity, as did the sale of cleaning products and home appliances. In the first quarter of this year, Lowe’s reported a 10.9 percent increase in sales, while The Home Depot saw a 7.1 percent rise.

In June, Lowe’s unveiled a tool for its professional and contractor customers, many of whose clients had become reluctant to open their homes to workers while the coronavirus was still spreading. Called Lowe’s for Pros Jobsight, the tool provides a way for contractors to virtually visit a home to take measurements, inspect leaky pipes or size up a room for painting.

Lowe’s has been paying more attention to professional customers ever since Marvin Ellison left J.C. Penney two years ago to become chief executive at Lowe’s. “In home improvement, if you don’t have a healthy pro business, you really become the victim of weather patterns,” Ellison said. “You become the victim a lot of different things that drive normal retail traffic patterns. But irrespective of the weather outside, pros have to work.”

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