The home improvement leader has continued to best its competitors—including Lowe’s. Credit both the ongoing effort to spruce up store brands and new technology tools that let store workers see a fuller picture of a shopper’s spending history as it offers opportunities for upselling. The company's e-commerce operation grew more than 20% last year. Home Depot has also gingerly expanded its assortment, dipping its toes into home furnishings and decor, to get more spending from each shopper visit. While the housing market could be heading for bumpy times in a recession, Home Depot appears to be gathering the tools it needs to keep outperforming rivals.