Millennials a firm focus for Home Depot
Home Depot Executive Vice President and CFO, Carol Tomé recently gave some insight into Home Depot’s interest in millennial homeowners, during a CNBC ‘Mad Money’ episode. During the interview she described how the company is using technology to personalise retail experiences for pro customers and how home improvement leadership has continually changed.
Ms Tomé said that home equity values have more than doubled since 2011, and research indicates homeowners, including millennials, undertake more home improvement projects when they view their home as an investment, not just an expense, as reported in Hardware Retailing.
“When we talk to millennials, we were nervous about whether or not they wanted to own a home. We saw the largest cohort of first-time homebuyers last year was 33 years old, so as they’re starting to form their family unit, they’re buying a home. – Through our research, they’ve told us they want to work on their homes because they think it’s a good investment. That’s music to our ears,” she said.
It seems that new technology will also allow retailers to personalise customer service for its pro customers. Ms Tomé explained, during the CNBC interview, that one of Home Depot’s core values is entrepreneurial spirit, which motivates it to find new ways to attract sales from pro customers.
“What we’re seeing is that our professional contractors are finding their mobile devices to be very helpful to them. They can source inventory by store, they can order and have that order sent to their job site,” she said.
It is for this reason that the Home Depot app will personalise itself to pro customers by specific trade, highlighting electrical products for electricians, plumbing products for plumbers and so on. The app will also eventually provide ‘personalised pricing’ for pros, according to Ms Tomé.
It seems new technology is not the only thing that is changing within the hardware industry with Ms Tomé also pointing out how she has observed women taking greater leadership roles in home improvement, over her 24 years with the company. As she announced plans to retire in August, Ms Tomé noted how the industry has changed for women over the years.
“When I started 24 years ago, I was all by myself. But if you look at our leadership team now you see women in power. We have three executive vice presidents who are women today, and it’s throughout the entire company. I am so incredibly proud of them, and I hope they’re proud of me,” she said.