Home Depot is a rare gem in a troubled retail world. The do-it-yourself home improvement chain has benefitted big time from the rebound in the housing market, which has spurred consumers to invest in their homes. The result: a year of record sales and net earnings. Same store sales, an important industry metric, were also up 5.6%. The sales growth got a boost by its 2015 purchase of Interline Brands the company’s biggest acquisition in nearly a decade. The deal gives the company more exposure to commercial markets like hospitality and healthcare, whose spending far outweighs the size of the customer base. Home Depot has still been able to attract customers to its stores in an Amazon era, but it’s investing in its digital operations. Last year 5.9% of its total sales came from online, but 45% of those purchases were picked up in store.
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Apparel store sales are expected to rise just 0.1%, compared with a 0.6% increase before the storms.
The companies' stocks had enjoyed an 8% boost since August 24.
Optimism was also driven by the coming announcement of Apple's new iPhone.