Jul 1, 2018

Go deeper: Amazon has met its match in Home Depot

Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Home Depot plans to invest $1.2 billion over the next five years to increase its supply chain and distribution abilities in an effort to keep disruptors like Amazon out of its home improvement market, reports the Wall Street Journal's Jennifer Smith.

The big picture: Despite being the number one home improvement retailer, Home Depot recognizes the power of e-commerce giants like Amazon that have a hand in nearly every market. So far, the company's plan to dominate the home improvement market and keep competitors at bay has been working.

What they're doing: To reduce labor costs, Home Depot looks for convenience factors, like faster deliveries, a better online shopping experience, and stores that help customers find items quicker with a faster check out rate.

By the numbers:

  • The $1.2 billion investment will go toward 170 new distribution facilities in the U.S., which will allow 90% of the country to have same-day or next-day delivery by 2020, writes Smith.
  • The investment is part of a larger $11 billion plan announced in December 2017 to deflect Amazon and Lowes.
  • Home Depot hired 1,000 people so far this year to beef up its technology teams in software engineering, user experience design, network engineering, and product management, reports Recode's Jason Del Ray.

Full disclosure: Amazon still surpasses Home Depot as an international business power. Amazon's revenue was nearly $178 billion in 2017 in while Home Depot's revenue was roughly $101 billion.

  • Yes, but: Home improvement is one market in which Amazon has struggled to break through. Most of the time, people need home improvement products immediately — and the names, sizes, and product specifics can be hard to search online for customers who are not sure what they need, GlobalData retail managing director Neil Saunders tells Axios.

The state of play:

  • Home Depot's stock price is up 40% just this year, the opposite of continuing horror stories in retail.
  • Nine out of 10 people in the U.S. live within 10 miles of a Home Depot location.
  • 45% of Home Depot's online orders are picked up in stores and 85% of online returns are completed in stores, Home Depot's executive vice president of U.S. stores, Ann-Marie Campbell, said at an investor and analysis conference.
  • The company has grown its online sales by $1 billion each year.

Go deeper

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In photos: Protesters and police clash nationwide over George Floyd

A firework explodes behind a line of police officers next to the Colorado State Capitol during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Denver on May 30. Photo : Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd continued nationwide into early Sunday.

The big picture: Police responded over the weekend with force, in cities ranging from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Denver and Louisville. Large crowds gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday for the fifth day in a row.

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Massive demonstrations put police response to unrest in the spotlight

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The response of some officers during demonstrations against police brutality in the U.S. has been criticized for being excessive by some officials and Black Lives Matter leaders.

Why it matters: The situation is tense across the U.S., with reports of protesters looting and burning buildings. While some police have responded with restraint and by monitoring the protests, others have used batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and other devices to disperse protesters and, in some cases, journalists.