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Lowes is struggling

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Lowes seems not to be able to compete with the Orange monster lately. I was wondering if part of the problem was the lack of cohesive strategy with their tool department? I have to imagine Ryobi kills Kobalt, and PC in sales even though they try to place those brands up market.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-28/lowe-s-punished-by-investors-for-not-growing-like-home-depot

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Lowes for pros is a bunch of BS. I know I have gone off on this before but their lack of keeping common things in on the shelves is hit or miss. A bunch of brands nobody has ever heard of and the list can go on and on. I did notice that this year at the international Builders Show their space was about half the size as it has been in previous years.

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If I worked at lowes and someone needed a diy type tool  I would be honest and say go to HD and get Ryobi that system has so many tools that are great for a homeowner/diy. I wonder what kinda sales HD has for Ryobi compared to PC, Skill, and Kobalt

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They need long term planning, they virtually have none. They change hand tools out and in with little reasoning. Good luck keeping up on ratchets, there's not even a common lever direction among them, some are left to tighten, some are right.

 

They killed off Blue Hawk in a lot of categories to bring in Stanley which presumably will get replaced by Craftsman. They clearanced all their blow molded made in Taiwan socket sets to bring in made in China sets that look the same...now they're already clearancing some of those sets. No consistency and poor selection for tool boxes, virtually a revolving door and no consistency from store to store. Shop Vac instead of Ridgid vacuums, I just got a deal on a Shop Vac...it's no where near the quality of Ridgid but it costs more. 

 

Lowe's also doesn't really push Kobalt in power tools, they're starting to with some stores getting a full aisle...but Dewalt gets an aisle and end caps. Previously Kobalt had the same designated area as Hitachi. Ryobi and Ridgid get the same amount of space as Dewalt and Milwaukee in the aisles, though Dewalt and Milwaukee also get runway and end caps all the time. Lowe's has no demo stations either.

 

I don't know about how well they're doing in what appears to be their main focuses; closet organization/fans and lights.

 

They have a lot of issues, I could go on for a long while.

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Yeah they are the homeowner/diyer version of home Depot and don't even do that right.

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Forgot they only carry Shopvac which Ridgid kills them on Vac selection, and like you mentioned they don't have anything close to the Milwaukee/Husky tool boxes the Depot offers. The merchandising at lowes is poor, and needs improvement.

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Just based on my Lowe’s ..... paint and appliances are what seems to keep the lights on...

 

whenever I am forced to go... I have my Lowe’s app loaded, find my own stuff, and go wait on line......

I refuse to do all of the customer service myself, and then do Self Checkout !! (That is another rant by itself !!)

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@BMack37 some ShopVac items are better than others. The yellow ones are supposedly their more pro oriented vacs. The red ones are supposedly their homeowner vacs. I have a ShopVac yellow vac. It does the job but nothing special. At work we have a handful of Craftsman vacs, one Ridgid, and one ShopVac. The Ridgid and ShopVac feel the most powerful. 

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15 hours ago, Jronman said:

@BMack37 some ShopVac items are better than others. The yellow ones are supposedly their more pro oriented vacs. The red ones are supposedly their homeowner vacs. I have a ShopVac yellow vac. It does the job but nothing special. At work we have a handful of Craftsman vacs, one Ridgid, and one ShopVac. The Ridgid and ShopVac feel the most powerful. 

 

The biggest thing I don't like is that the sides aren't flat so it makes it difficult to dump. I have one of the red and black 16 gallon 6.5hp units, it's pretty quiet but the hose retaining isn't great, almost lost one clip already. It's not as nice as the Ridgids are for the same price point.

 

For $26 I'll live with it, the accessories are worth that...but $100, I'd go with Ridgid, no question.

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I have the blue shop vac.. it’s fine, but when it dies.... I’m going rigid 

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Where I work we have a lowes around the corner and HD across the street. HD is always packed and lowes seems to be empty. Within the next year or so Menardsplans to open a 2 story store less than 1/2 a mile from lowes. If Menards does open it could spell the end of lowes at that location. 

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Rant on (I'm on duty and it's been a while since I've done much more than browsed the forums):

 

I've been steadily buying tools and materials for four years now, with Lowe's formerly my favorite place to shop before it was supplanted by Home Depot.  One thing I've noticed is that Lowe's switches products on a whim, with tool brands coming and going, while Home Depot seems to keep the same brands, with a few exceptions (such as the fairly recent switch from Johnson to Empire levels).  Unlike their orange competition, Lowe's offers little in the way of tools and accessories which are made in Europe and North America nowadays, making a majority of their product offerings of Chinese origin.  I know I always bring this up, and I will be the first to admit that COO means little in today's global market, but if I am spending my hard-earned money on something I want (as opposed to need), I'll gladly spend a little more for something made in the US if such an option is locally available.  This in turn translates to me driving to Home Depot for Klein hand tools or Diablo blades instead of opting for Lowe's offerings (though Southwire is making some of their tools in the US now).

 

Lowe's is just a bland store.  I still enjoy searching for deals, but as I stated in the thread linked below, the color scheme does not grab one's attention.  The brightest thing in a Lowe's tool department is DeWalt.  Everything else is a darker or drabber color, from Kobalt to Hitachi to Porter Cable.  Maybe it's just the fact that I've been to dozens of Lowe's stores hundreds of times, but I don't really feel as though I'd be comfortable looking for a particular item if I were not familiar with the common layouts.  Even with knowledge of where most things are, I couldn't find backer board in the Americus Lowe's a couple of weeks ago.  I looked all over the tile and flooring section (where it's kept at other stores), and through plumbing to no avail, finally driving to the Home Depot in Cordele where I knew exactly where it was.  Home Depot seems to have more aisle space, a more intuitive layout, and easier to navigate tool sections with plenty of color to keep shoppers' interest. 

 

Here in Columbus, GA, we have two Home Depots (one in Phenix City, AL) and a single Lowe's.  I try to avoid the Lowe's any time after around 9am, though, as the lines are always horrendous.  Home Depot seems less busy and easier to check out in, but the number of shoppers are probably about the same.  Home Depot has one pro checkout open with another ready to open on a whim, four self-checkout kiosks, and usually a regular register open as well; Lowe's has one pro checkout, is hit or miss on self-checkout being open at all, and might have a couple of slow registers open. 

 

One thing that Lowe's has improved immensely is their military discount program.  By linking it to MyLowes it can be used for online purchases and more importantly, it streamlines the checkout experience.  It was annoying watching a line build up behind me as I waited for a manager to approve a discount, and I'd often not even ask for a discount on smaller purchases.  Anyway, I've got to bring the dog in, and I think I'll try to catch a little more sleep than normal on this shift.

 

For a similar thread, check this one out:

 

 

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Honestly, I have a Lowes a stones throw away, however I make the drive across town to hit the Home Depot. That being said, the HD that is closest to me is AWEFUL!  The place is a total mess, it always looks like a tornado came through.  So I make the drive to the HD thats farther away,  I gave up on Lowes, nothing is ever in stock, the stock they do have, seems to be all opened packages, (I am talking about small consumable items). 

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I stopped by ours today to pick a couple of 4x4s and a 2x12x12 for the legs and skirts of my bench. I still think if you buy lumber from the big box stores, which I hate to do, our Lowe’s has better selection.

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2 hours ago, ChrisK said:

I stopped by ours today to pick a couple of 4x4s and a 2x12x12 for the legs and skirts of my bench. I still think if you buy lumber from the big box stores, which I hate to do, our Lowe’s has better selection.

 

I completely agree on the lumber.  My Lowes has a really nice selection of "Craft Boards", at a really good price. I buy Oak pieces for my Scroll Saw Signs.  Both my HD's, are lacking in the type of lumber I use. 

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Just by reading... it’s amazing how things are different in different parts of the country..

All you need to shop now is...... Both ... HD & Lowe’s, little frustration, a lot of patience. And should make it thru.......

funny / sad ... but true

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If Lowes goes under I'd like to see Home Depot buy the empty stores and convert them into a new line of Home Depot stores called Home Depot Pro. The standard HD could be for the average person who isn't expected to buy anything more than diy/homeowner grade stuff. The HD Pro could have all the premium stuff that contractors/tradesman want.

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Well, the CEO recently announced his departure, and if his replacement is good this thread could prove premature.  I've said it before but Lowe's, despite being the smaller chain, has small town markets locked down here in Georgia and the Southeast.  While HD tends to stick to larger cities and mid-sized ones near interstates, Lowe's has a presence in well-known and decently populated places like Statesboro (Allman Brothers' song "Statesboro Blues", Waycross ("Miller's Cave", a song by Hank Snow and also recorded by Bobby Bare), and Vidalia (think onions). 😀

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Well, the CEO recently announced his departure, and if his replacement is good this thread could prove premature.  I've said it before but Lowe's, despite being the smaller chain, has small town markets locked down here in Georgia and the Southeast.  While HD tends to stick to larger cities and mid-sized ones near interstates, Lowe's has a presence in well-known and decently populated places like Statesboro (Allman Brothers' song "Statesboro Blues", Waycross ("Miller's Cave", a song by Hank Snow and also recorded by Bobby Bare), and Vidalia (think onions).
The new CEO comes from JC Penny and is really shaking the tree. Major changes in upper management. It will be interesting to see what happens. I don't know how much of their focus is on tools. Most of the store is other stuff.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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I went to Lowe's for the first time in a month or so and then rediscovered this thread.  A quick search reveals that the timing is near-perfect:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-lowes-stores-are-closing-in-the-next-three-months-2018-11-05

So, 51 stores are closing (30 in Canada and 21 in the U.S.).  I mentioned above how the Southeast seems mostly locked down by Lowe's in smaller or more rural cities and towns, and sure enough, only three southern stores seem to be closing (for now), in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. 

 

I also mentioned above how "bland" I used to find the store.  Things are much more colorful now, however, with all of the seasonal Craftsman displays.  There's red all over the place, contrasting nicely with the aforementioned relative drabness of most of their brands.  Anyway, the Northern Virginia store I went into this morning was well stocked and organized, with probably around ten employees restocking or organizing shelves.  Tool World was well-laid out and comprised perhaps 10-15% of the store (not counting Lumber and the outside portion of Lawn and Garden).

 

 

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On ‎3‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 9:23 PM, Jronman said:

If Lowes goes under I'd like to see Home Depot buy the empty stores and convert them into a new line of Home Depot stores called Home Depot Pro. The standard HD could be for the average person who isn't expected to buy anything more than diy/homeowner grade stuff. The HD Pro could have all the premium stuff that contractors/tradesman want.

 

This is an interesting concept, but would likely only work in the largest of metropolitan areas.  Lowe's isn't exactly a small store, so HD would have a hard time filling it only with premium tools and materials.  Factor in too the fact that losses are high enough in regular stores--about four years ago it seemed like butane torches were being stolen from every greater Savannah-area store.  I know I found packages missing only the torch both hidden around various stores or sharply reduced on the clearance shelf.  This is from Savannah to Vidalia to Brunswick to Americus, basically all of Eastern Georgia and over 200 miles in-state.  I've seen too many open boxes and, while losses are probably insignificant in the grand scheme of things, they impact both costs and profits.  I wouldn't think that Home Depot would want to assume the risk of having large footprint stores with multiple blind spots and entrances/exits, all filled with only the highest quality (yet still mass-marketable) tools, equipment, and materials.  If I were a thief, I'd definitely choose the "Pro" store over the standard one.

 

In my mind, likely driven by different experiences than you, I could see a similar concept working, should HD's largest competitor (at least in the Eastern U.S.) go under.  That would be to buy the stores where Lowe's has dominant market share.  Most of the aforementioned towns have basically two choices for tools or hardware nowadays.  Lowe's, Ace, or maybe a smaller chain like True Value or Do It Best.  Many will have builder's supply stores and maybe even a small tool store.  Still, if Lowe's were to just disappear (not likely at the moment, though I'm sure people said the same of Sears 10-15 years ago), then Ace or the largest local competitor would be the go-to place for everyone in the area.  Home Depot would establish a more compact store format in many of the newly vacated building (small-town Lowe's stores are dwarfed by stores in more built-up areas). 

 

I like your concept, but feel as though it would be better served in a store the size of, say, Dollar Tree, though building materials and lumber would naturally increase the size.

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2 hours ago, fm2176 said:

I like your concept, but feel as though it would be better served in a store the size of, say, Dollar Tree, though building materials and lumber would naturally increase the size.

What about do something like what Sams Club is to Walmart? Pay a yearly price and you get a membership that allows you to receive the benefits of shopping at Sams Club. I think a membership store owned by HD wouldn't be a bad idea. They could even charge a higher fee for membership to combat the money they might lose. Market it more towards the tradesman/pro and provide better services than what a normal HD has to offer and I think any contractor will see the benefit of getting the membership.

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21 minutes ago, Jronman said:

What about do something like what Sams Club is to Walmart? Pay a yearly price and you get a membership that allows you to receive the benefits of shopping at Sams Club. I think a membership store owned by HD wouldn't be a bad idea. They could even charge a higher fee for membership to combat the money they might lose. Market it more towards the tradesman/pro and provide better services than what a normal HD has to offer and I think any contractor will see the benefit of getting the membership.

I could see this as having potential.  Perhaps eliminate the contractor packs in the regular stores (or keep them but reduce the associated discount) and have bulk building materials, hardware, and expendable/wearable items such as bits and blades.  

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