Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse

Company: Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse


Founders: Lucius S. Lowe, Jim Lowe, Carl Buchan

Industry: Home Improvement / Retail – Home Improvement

History:

Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse is an American-based chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores. The Mooresville, North Carolina-based chain has grown from a tiny hardware store into the world’s second largest home improvement retailer. Lowe’s is ranked 48 in the 2008 Fortune 500 Largest Corporations in America and also made $46.9 billion revenue in 2006.

Lowe’s was established in 1921, when Lucius S. Lowe opened Lowe’s North Wilkesboro Hardware in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. In 1940, Lowe died but left his business inheritance to his daughter, Ruth, who shortly sold it to his brother Jim Lowe. In 1943, Jim took on H. Carl Buchan, Ruth’s husband, as his partner. In 1949, they opened a second store in Sparta, North Carolina. Their partnership eventually split when Buchan bought out Lowe, becoming the sole owner of the company. Buchan focused on selling hardware, appliances and building materials that were hard to find. In 1955, stores were opened in Asheville, Durham, and Charlotte, North Carolina, and more stores were opened through the decade. Buchan eliminated wholesalers and dealt directly with manufacturers; consequently the stores have been known to offer low prices up to the present. In 1961, the company went public and in 1979, the company started trading on the New York Stock Exchange. By 1962, its operations had grown to 21 stores. In the early 1990s, Lowe’s adopted a big-box format to compete with Home Depot.

Since then, the company has grown nationwide and today, its stores offer around 40,000 products in stock and even more products are available through their Special Order Service. In 2007, Lowe’s opened its first stores in Canada. It also plans to open its first stores in Mexico by 2009.

Leadership:

Executive Team

· Robert A. Niblock, Chairman and CEO

· Larry D. Stone, President and Chief Operating Officer

· Robert F. Hull, Jr., Executive Vice President and Chef Financial Officer

· Michael K. Brown, Executive Vice-President of Store Operations

· Charles W. Canter, Jr., Executive Vice President of Merchandising

· Joseph M. Mabry, Jr., Executive Vice President of Logistics and Distribution

· Theresa A. Anderson, Senior Vice President & General Merchandising Manager, Home Décor

· Maureen K. Ausura, Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Board of Directors

· Robert A. Niblock, Chairman-Governance Committee

· Leonard L. Berry

· Dawn E. Hudson

· Robert L. Johnson

· Richard K. Lochridge

· O. Temple Sloan Jr., Chairman-Executive Committee

· David Bernauer

· Peter C. Browning

· Robert A. Ingram

· Marshall O. Larsen, Chairman-Compensation & Organization Committee

· Stephen F. Page, Chairman-Audit Committee

Trivia: Lowe’s has been continually committed to serve its communities through its various projects including Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, which awarded over $15 million to different organizations and schools across the country in 2006.

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