- Home decor sales continue to surge during the pandemic as Americans look to liven up their houses, which are now doubling as offices, schools, or fitness studios.
- Retailers including Target, TJX Companies, Bath & Body Works, Home Depot, and Lowe’s all reported an increase in home decor purchases as the pandemic continues.
- “We just think there’s more sales and market share up for grabs in the home area, and we think home goods are well positioned to do that,” TJX Companies CEO Ernie Hermann said on a call with investors this week.
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If there’s been one consistent bright spot for the retail industry during the pandemic, it’s been home decor and improvement sales.
Several major retailers — ranging from big-box companies like Target and Home Depot, to mall brands like Bath & Body Works — reported significant growth in home decor and related categories, as Americans continue to spruce up homes now doubling as offices, schools, or workout studios.
TJX Companies — the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods — reported this week that sales at its HomeGoods stores increased by 22% year-over-year. Speaking on a call with investors, CEO Ernie Hermann said while the home decor and improvement category had already been “a fast growing business” across all brands at the company before the pandemic, the coronavirus outbreak has helped accelerate it.
“If you have more people virtually working from home, as the future might indicate, we believe [demand for] home goods will continue,” he said. “We are executing well … and we are very happy with the sales. We just think there’s more sales and market share up for grabs in the home area, and we think home goods are well positioned to do that.”
Meanwhile, Target — which reported blowout sales in the second quarter of the year, including a tripling of its online sales from the year prior — saw a 30% year-over-year bump in the home decor category.
“Not surprisingly, our guests’ heightened focus on staying at home was also evident in our home category,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said on an earnings call this week.
The critical mass of Americans now sequestered at home has also proven advantageous to brands like Bath & Body Works, which saw growth not just in its soaps and hand sanitizers, but also home fragrances.
Much like TJX had been focused on building out its home goods offerings during the pandemic, Andrew Meslow — CEO of L Brands, the parent company of Bath & Body Works — said Bath & Body Works had already been doubling down on home fragrance in recent years.
“Certainly, making your home smell like you want it to is something that our customer has continued to express interest in,” Meslow said in a call with investors this week. “And again, something we would expect to continue through the pandemic and also afterwards.”
Companies traditionally dedicated to the home improvement category, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, also saw shoppers flock to stores to stock up on materials for projects. As a result, Home Depot reported a 23% sales jump for the quarter, while Lowe’s reported a 34.3% spike.
“During the quarter, we saw customers take on projects throughout their homes,” Home Depot CEO Craig Menear said this week. “From deck building to painting projects, landscape work, and home repairs due to increase wear and tear. Clearly our customers engaged with home improvement in a meaningful way.”