Comps hit 8-year high at Home Depot

Home Depot’s first quarter saw comp-store sales of positive 5.8%. That’s the highest since the second quarter of 2004, when the booming housing market helped push the world’s largest home improvement retailer’s same-store sales to 7.7%.

One reason for the eight-year high is the hot-cold treatment — an unusually warm quarter in 2012 followed an unusually frigid one.

Home Depot’s Craig Menear, executive VP merchandising, described a long list of products as double-digit comp generators, including walk-behind mowers, riding mowers, lawn accessories, soils and mulches. “Warmer-than-expected weather allowed customers to complete exterior projects and begin spring projects early,” he said, estimating a 300 basis point boost for U.S. comps due to the weather.

Only two departments failed to generate positive comps in the quarter — plumbing, which was flat, and kitchens, which was slightly negative.