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Typically when reporting quarterly earnings, executives for companies cite weather as a negative for their business. Warm weather in the winter hurts cold weather apparel sales, wet weather in the summer hurts paint sales, and so on.
Home Depot, however, had the opposite reaction to Hurricane Matthew. According to the company’s quarterly earnings call Hurricane Matthew – which brought damage and flooding to Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas – actually was a huge benefit to the company’s performance in the third quarter.
“As [CEO] Craig [Menear] mentioned our vendor partners, supply chains, and supply teams rallied to support our customers impacted by Hurricane Matthew and the flooding in Louisiana,” said Ted Decker, executive vice president for merchandising at Home Depot.
“Through strong collaboration, we were able to get products to our communities in their time of need. We estimate the impact of storm-related sales to be approximately $100 million.”
This makes sense, as people needed to repair their homes after the storm, but it still pales in comparison to the roughly $6 billion in damage and the 26 lives lost in the US due to Hurricane Matthew.
Additionally, Home Depot noted that a substantial amount of the bump came from the flooding in Louisiana.
It’s unclear whether the boost for Home Depot came from direct spending by consumers or government clean up operations buying from the retailer.
Home Depot beat on both sales and earnings in its quarterly results, partly due to the improved housing market, but also from the surge in activity caused by the bad weather.