Lowe's Strengths and Weaknesses

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Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a U.S.-based chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores. The chain serves more than fourteen million customer a week in its 1,710 stores in the United States and 20 in Canada. Lowe’s is the second-largest hardware chain in the U.S. behind The Home Depot and ahead of Menards. Globally, Lowe’s is also the second largest hardware chain, again behind The Home Depot and ahead of the European store B&Q and OBI. Lowe’s strengths consist of being the second largest retailer of home improvements in the United States. Lowe’s provides a wide range of products at a slightly discounted price. Compared to its rivals, the typical Lowe’s store stocks a larger and a more diverse selection of home decorating products, including lamps, designer towel racks, window treatments and designer towels, than found in Home Depot stores. Lowe’s carries the name of designer paint brands like Laura Ashley and Olympic brand. Lowe’s states in its 2011 annual filing statement that the company’s focus on private brands, exclusive to the company, helps it stand out from the competition. Lowe’s also makes product data available to vendors, which enable suppliers to determine what items sell and restock the items quickly. This approach gives Lowe’s and advantage over smaller competitors. Lowe’s focuses on strong customer relations and it is considered a great strength. Customer service at Lowe’s stores starts with the hiring of a higher percentage of full-time employees, 69 percent to 80 percent compared to Home Depot’s 59 percent. Full-time personnel tend to demonstrate more knowledge and understanding of the products they sell. The company has a policy that states it will open another register when a line has more than three customers at any one time. Red buttons placed in every aisle summon customer service assistance. Tracking merchandising and promotion campaigns and accumulating data on customer purchases help Lowe’s target...
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