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Company: Lowe's Companies Inc. (Lowe's)

Lowe's is the second largest home improvement retailer in the world, second only to Home Depot. The company has stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico and employs over 161,000 people on a full-time basis, with another 87,000 part-timers rounding out their work force. In 2012, Lowe's generated revenue of over $50 billion.


Although Jim Lowe, who was instrumental to the beginnings of the home improvement retailer, started Lowe’s Foods grocery chain, the two companies are separate unrelated companies.

Year Founded: 1946 Number of Locations: 1,754

Trade Names (# of locations)

Lowe's (1,754)

Early Years and Growth

In 1946, Jim Lowe's brother-in-law, Carl Buchan bought Jim's interest in his hardware and building supply business and began to expand the business.

In 1949, the company acquired a second store in Sparta, North Carolina.

In 1955, Lowe's opened three stores in North Carolina, one each in Charlotte, Durham and Asheville.

In 1960, Carl Buchan passed away.

In 1961, Lowe's went public.

In 1962, Lowe's had grown to 21 stores, with revenues of $32 million.

In the 1980s, Lowe's growth slowed, as The Home Depot hit the scene and expanded aggressively.

In 1997, Lowe's bought the building that was formerly a mall and converted it to a satellite corporate headquarters office. This corporate office has since expanded to a 440,000 square foot campus.

In 1998, Lowe's bought the naming rights to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for ten years. The Speedway has since reverted to its previous name.

In 1999, Lowe's acquired Eagle Hardware & Garden, a retailer based in Spokane, Washington.

In 2001, Lowe's became the primary sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports.

In 2006, Lowe's became the exclusive retailer for the Lowe's Katrina Cottage. These cottages are small shelters, designed to replace what many considered to be inadequate housing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In 2012, Lowe's entered into a sponsorship deal with IMG College, a collegiate marketing and licensing company, which represents over 200 college properties that connect over 170 million college sports fans through radio, television and other media.

In February 2013, Lowe's extended its sponsorship agreement with Hendrick Motorsports for another two years. It is the primary sponsor of the number 48 NASCAR Sprint Cup team and five-time champion driver Jimmie Johnson. That same month, Lowe's announced it would buy up to $5 billion of its own stock back from shareholders. Companies typically buy back their own stock when they think the price in the open market is undervaluing the company. In Lowe's case, it is borrowing money to buy back shares, so some Wall Street analysts have seen this as a risky way to finance the buyback.


Headquarter City: Mooresville, North Carolina

Targeted Consumer

Lowe's target customers are home improvement do-it-yourself consumers.

Work Environment

Reviews on Glassdoor.com

Total Reviews: 1,395       

Positive:          44.1%

Neutral:           30.5%

Negative:         25.4%

According to reviews, the company has several jobs that pay better than the industry average, including:

Store Manager: $105K

Team Leader-Hourly: $16/Hour

Cashier-Hourly: $14/Hour

In addition to competitive pay, Lowe's offers many benefits to attract and retain the best talent possible. Some of the benefits it offers include a 401(k) plan with a company match, employee stock purchase plan and a tuition reimbursement program. In addition to reimbursing employees for qualified college courses, Lowe's has its own internal Lowe's Leadership Institute and in 2011, Chief Learning Officer Magazine ranked the company in the top ten learning organizations in the world.

Lowe's has been recognized for its efforts to provide its employees an above average work environment. Some of the recognition the company has received includes:

GI Jobs Top 100 Military-Friendly Employer
2012 American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite

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