A Late Spring Kept Visits to Home Improvement Store Sites Underground

Web traffic slipped by about 10% 

May 16, 2018

While ecommerce sales were up 20%, The Home Depot's first-quarter revenues fell short of expectations, as a drawn-out winter and a slow start to spring delayed the DIY season. 

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The delayed blooms were reflected in wilting web traffic for Home Depot. Overall traffic for February, March and April, the three months of its fiscal Q1, was down by 9.9%, according to SimilarWeb data.

Home Depot was not alone. The home improvement sector as a whole saw web traffic decline at about the same rate, dropping 11.1% during the three-month period.

In reporting its first-quarter results, Home Depot noted that comparable store sales for the month of May are up at a double-digit pace—signaling that sales and interest did not blow away in the late-spring storms, only remained underground for some extra time.

Home Depot has been on a roll since the housing crisis abated and consumers resumed property work. Average sales per store and per square foot have grown in each of the past five years. See all store productivity data for Home Depot in the eMarketer Retail companies database. Its total number of US locations has remained almost exactly flat over the five-year period, with 1,978 stores in 2017.