Home Depot 'Trades Spaces' With Lowe's

Home Depot is the latest remodeler going for a new look courtesy of Trading Spaces and TLC. The Atlanta-based home improvement giant signed on last week to be the exclusive category sponsor for Trading Spaces, replacing its archrival Lowe's.

Home Depot's deal, which kicks off in the fall and runs through third quarter next year, also extends its current relationship with another TLC redecorating show, While You Were Out. The deal calls for Home Depot to advertise on other Discovery Networks channels including the Discovery Channel and BBC America as well.

The home improvement company will provide the budgets, projects and material for remodeling projects on both While You Were Out and Trading Spaces, one of cable's hottest original shows. And Home Depot will get marketing opportunities on spin-off Trading Spaces: Family.

Home Depot is getting increasingly aggressive in its TV dealings. In May 2002, the company struck a three-year, $100 million deal with Walt Disney Co. As part of the deal, Home Depot agreed to advertise across Disney-owned networks ABC, Lifetime and the Disney Channel.

The Trading Spaces deal with TLC is well timed. The home improvement chain has been looking for ways to recharge its image. Sales have sagged, although recent reports show improvement and have boosted the stock price. Bob Nardelli, Home Depot CEO, is a former NBC executive who was considered a potential successor to Jack Welch to become chairman of GE before Jeff Immelt got the nod.

Lowe's same-store sales have surpassed Home Depot for the last eight quarters. And Lowe's isn't getting out of the TV show business. The company is teaming with TBS Superstation on an upcoming redecorating show House Rules. That show, which debuts in October, will pit teams of amateur remodelers against each other for a chance to win the home they've worked on. Lowe's will provide the supplies and be featured heavily in product placement.