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Lowe’s looks to broaden rural appeal with new in-store shop concept

Lowe’s is rolling out a rural shop-in-shop concept in 300 locations.
Lowe’s is rolling out a rural shop-in-shop concept in 300 locations.

Lowe’s is looking for growth in rural America.

The home improvement retailer said it is launching a one-stop-shop concept designed to bring customers living in rural areas a wider offering of farm, ranch and outdoor products.   Earlier this week, Lowe’s cut its full-year outlook, citing falling lumber prices and a decline in do-it-yourself discretionary spending. 

On Lowe’s earnings call, executives said that the company had piloted the rural store concept last year with successful results and was now expanding it. The new concept is rolling out among select Lowe’s stores, primarily in the South, Midwest and Northeast throughout the summer and is expected to be in place in 300 additional Lowe's stores by year end.   

While in years past, our penetration of rural and remote stores was viewed as a competitive disadvantage, we now expect that these stores will be a key component of our operating profit growth over the next three to five years,” Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison told analysts on the call.

The in-store concept features broader product offerings in categories that include pet, livestock, trailers, fencing, utility vehicles and specialized hardware. New Carhartt  apparel will be offered in select stores, with the expansion of Wrangler offerings in all rural stores. The company also plans to add more national apparel brands to its rural assortment in coming months.

"Our goal with this product expansion is to grow our relationship with the consumer who is already looking to Lowe's for their interiors solutions, but also has a need for top-of-the-line, best value products for outdoor, rural or farm living," said Bill Boltz, Lowe's executive VP of merchandising. "Given our rural store footprint and longstanding relationships in these communities, this expansion will simplify the shopping experience for these very valuable customers and help us continue to grow market share through our Total Home strategy."


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