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Lowe’s looks to evolve with customer


At analyst and investor conference, the retailer says it will expand its home improvement reach.

Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock kicked off his presentation at the chain’s analyst and investor conference with the phrase: “To help people love where they live.”

Niblock and other executives then proceeded to describe their plans to evolve as customers’ expectations change. Niblock summed up the big picture: "We're focused on evolving our business to further drive trust and loyalty by empowering customers throughout their project journey,” he said.

As three key messages, the Lowe’s CEO listed the following:

• Expand home improvement reach;

• Develop capabilities to anticipate and support customer needs; and

• Generate profitable growth and substantial returns.

Serving more customers more efficiently will play a role in expanding its reach, Niblock said. Lowe’s also described an effort to boost its pro business through improved inventory depth and an enhanced service offering, among other things.

The Mooresville, North Carolina-based home improvement giant told analysts it expects sales to increase 9% to 10% in the current fiscal year, including the 53rd week.

The 53rd week is expected to increase total sales by approximately 1.5%.

Comparable sales are expected to increase 3% to 4%, and the company expects to add approximately 40 home improvement and hardware stores.

Niblock pointed to a fundamentally solid macro-economic environment. He described GDP growth as healthy. And he sees home improvement spending benefiting from employment gains, rising incomes, home price appreciation and housing turnover.

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