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Retail Trends

Power Players Home Improvement

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Menard is looking to increase its share of the home improvement market (measured at about 5 percent by IBISWorld Research) in part by increasing store size. New stores in St. Louis and Detroit are around 240,000 sq. ft. — nearly double the size of its largest competitors — complete with a full-service lumberyard and some convenience grocery items.

The Home Depot and Lowe’s should benefit from the rebounding housing market, according to a recent report from Goldman Sachs. In raising its share-price expectations for the common stock of The Home Depot and Lowe’s, Goldman Sachs noted that “We hear consistent feedback that reinforces our expectations of strengthening sales in remodeling-oriented categories and for larger projects.”

Both national chains saw major construction jobs arise in the wake of damage caused by Superstorm Sandy last fall, only to have the spring construction and DIY project season delayed by one of the coldest and snowiest springs in the last two decades. But The Home Depot enjoyed a 7.4 percent sales gain in the period, with U.S. comparable-store sales advancing 4.8 percent; Lowe’s, on the other hand, saw sales dip 0.5 percent in the first quarter as same-store sales declined 0.7 percent, the 16th consecutive quarter its comps were lower than The Home Depot’s.