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Home Depot (HD) Enhances Digital Experience With Online Rentals

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The Home Depot Inc. HD is taking its idea of enhancing customers’ digital experience to the next level through the launch of the "Rent Online, Pick-up In Store" service across 1,300 rental locations. The company, focused on easing the hardships of DIY and Pro customers, is on the right path as the latest technology not only saves the time of these customers but also lowers trips to stores.

The service was launched after piloting it at the Atlanta, Charlotte and Houston markets. The company is now making the service available in its rental locations across North America. Since January 2021, it has opened eight additional rental centers to expand its leadership as the largest equipment rental network in the United States. The company’s new rental locations include stores at Pasadena and Manteca, CA; Calhoun, GA; Maui, HI; Alamo Heights, Midland and Rockwall, TX; and Hampton, VA.

Through the launch, customers can conveniently reserve and rent equipment online through their phones up to 30 days in advance. Tools available for rental include demolition tools like breakers and concrete saws, landscaping tools like tillers and sod cutters, and trailers and moving vehicles. Customers can now check the availability of tools online and reserve the required tools in advance to enable a quicker rental process.

Home Depot is witnessing significant benefits from the execution of the “One Home Depot” investment plan, which focuses on expanding supply-chain facilities, technology investments and enhancement to the digital experience. The interconnected retail strategy and underlying technology infrastructure have helped consistently boost web traffic for the past few quarters. Additionally, the company is focused on aiding the interconnected experience through enhanced delivery and fulfillment options.

Over the years, the company has crafted the fastest, most efficient delivery network in home improvement through options like buy online pickup in store, with convenient pickup lockers, buy online deliver from store, with express car and van delivery, and the curbside pickup.

On first-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings call, management stated that it is looking to enhance interconnected facilities in tool rental through the expansion of rent online pilot chainwide. This will expand its rental footprint and enhance experiences for both Pro and DIY customers.

The company has always been keen on improving the experiences of DIY and Pro customers. It is on track with its investments to build a Pro ecosystem, which includes professional-grade products, exclusive brands, enhanced delivery, credit, digital capabilities, field sales support and HD rental. The company expects its differentiated Pro ecosystem to aid deeper engagement with Pro customers in the long term.

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Overall, shares of the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have rallied 17.4% in the year-to-date period compared with the industry’s 14.3% growth.

Other Retail Stocks to Consider

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. LOW currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. It has a long-term earnings growth rate of 13.8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc LL, also a Zacks Rank #2 stock, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 22.5%.

Tecnoglass Inc. TGLS, with a Zacks Rank #2 at present, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 20%.

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