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Lowe’s addresses expansion plans at Raymond James


Although Lowe’s is scaling back its new store openings in the United States this year, the home improvement retailer intends to push forward into Canada and Mexico, according to one of the company’s top executives. Larry Stone, Lowe’s president and chief operating officer, shared some new details on the retailer’s international expansion plans during a presentation at the Raymond James 30th Annual Institutional Investors Conference in Orlando, Fla.

“We still think there are opportunities for 100-plus stores in Canada,” Stone told investors on March 11. Although he said that “it might be five or six years before we get there,” Stone added that Lowe’s is making plans to open stores in the Calgary area in fiscal 2010. Lowe’s Canada now operates 11 stores and has three more under construction, all located in the province of Ontario.

Lowe’s long-awaited debut in Mexico, first announced in January 2007, will take place during Lowe’s 2009 fiscal year, according to Stone. Two stores are slated to open in Monterey in January 2010.

On U.S. soil, the Mooresville, N.C., retailer will open 60 to 70 new stores this fiscal year, compared to 115 in fiscal 2008.


Stone told analysts and investors that Lowe’s is focusing on small- to mid-sized markets that can support one of the company’s newer formats: a 66,000- or 80,000-sq.-ft. store with a drive-thorough lumberyard and large garden center.

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