The home depot, a chain of discount home goods stores, has the best sales per square foot of any home-improvement store in the country.
Its sales per unit (SPU) is more than 20 percent above the national average.
That’s according to a study published by Nielsen, which tracks home-equity data.
The home-depot sales per SPU is nearly 10 percent above Wal-Mart’s sales.
“They’ve done something very unique,” said Stephen Ochsner, senior vice president at Nielsen.
“I think this is the kind of place where you want to be.”
Home Depot is one of the few big-box stores in America to have its SPU outperform Wal-mart, which also operates its own hardware and appliance stores.
But home-repair shops like Home Depot have been growing faster than the broader retail industry, which is struggling to keep pace.
Home Depot CEO and founder Mike Duke, who is running for governor, said he’s seen a trend of “rebounding” from the recession.
He said the company is now able to provide customers with “a great service that they want to buy.”
The company reported a $3.3 billion profit in the fourth quarter, and its profit for the year rose to $1.2 billion from $1 billion.
But Duke’s sales growth has slowed.
Sales per square feet fell from 5.2 in the first quarter of 2017 to 3.4 in the third quarter.
That was the smallest percentage decline since the third quarters of 2009 and 2010, according to the company.
Home-improvements retailers are seeing their sales slow because they can’t afford to replace customers who leave their homes.
Duke says he wants to see the industry “grow a little bit more, but that’s not a goal that we can get by ourselves.”
He said he is looking at “more aggressive marketing,” which could include a TV ad campaign.
But he declined to name any specific retailers that he thinks will see sales growth.
Home depot sales per Square Feet, a measure of the average size of a home-sale, rose to 8.5 in the second quarter, the biggest quarterly gain since the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2009.
Home Depots sales per sq ft, a broader measure of total square footage, rose by 2.3 percent, the largest quarterly gain of the year.
“We believe the industry is on a sustainable trajectory,” Duke said in a conference call with analysts on Thursday.
Home prices are rising.
Home price gains in Florida, New York, California, Texas and other big cities are outpacing declines in other parts of the country, said Peter Hart, an economist at Capital Economics.
That has created a “double whammy” for home-building companies, he said.
Home builders, who typically pay less than $50,000 for a home, have also seen their profits fall because they have to cut back on services, including the remodeling that takes place on houses.
“If you have a house that’s in really good shape, then the remodels, the repairs, you want it to be ready to go on the day it goes on the market,” Hart said.
“But if you don’t have the cash to do that, you can’t take advantage of the market.”
Home-equipment makers have been struggling as well.
They’re seeing their margins fall, and they have a smaller market share than their bigger competitors.
“A lot of our customers are buying at the lowest price,” said Bill Wessels, president of the American Home Builders Association, which represents home-parts makers.
“And they’re paying about 10 percent less.”
That’s partly because most of their customers are people who are moving from the suburbs or who have other reasons for moving.
“You have a growing number of older people who have trouble affording to do their mortgage payments on a regular basis, and if they don’t, they may not have the means to do so,” Wesselers said.
That makes them “a little more vulnerable.”
A lot of their buyers are moving to bigger cities.
Home construction fell for a third straight quarter in January, according for the National Association of Home BuildERS.
Home sales fell in all regions, but in Florida and other states, the trend is reversing.
“The overall trend is continuing to be positive,” said Michael Osterholm, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities.
“It’s going to be a good month for a lot of these companies.”
Home depot stocks have fallen more than 25 percent in 2017.
The company’s stock price fell to $25.94 in mid-December, from $37.93 at the start of the previous year.