Company Snapshot: Lowe’s Companies Inc.
Robert A. Niblock- Chairman, President, CEO
Rick D. Damron- COO
Lowe’s was officially founded as a single unit hardware store in 1946, just after the end of World War II and at the beginning of the baby boom, in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. The store itself dates back to 1921 and was run by several iterations of the Lowe family. Based in hardware the store experimented with numerous other products including dry goods, snuff and groceries during the prewar years. The 1946 version focused on hardware and building materials. It wasn’t until 1949 that a second store was opened as a forbearer of a chain.
The changing postwar culture and stunning national economic growth produced an atmosphere which almost demanded colossal expansion from retailers offering building materials and supplies. The baby boon also provided a great impetus for new housing as well as add-ons for existing homes.
Thus Lowe’s enjoyed the fruits of post-war society and expanded with the booming economy both in terms of store locations as well as with the size of its store prototypes. Ultimately this activity led to the company’s building of an empire, not of hardware stores or even home centers but of the most modern creation, the big box home center warehouse, which still dominates this industry’s landscape.
This year, Chain Store Guide celebrates its 80th anniversary. In honor of this occasion, we are hosting a monthly series of editorials called “Chain Store Guide Through The Ages”, starting with the 1930s. We will take a look at what was happening in that time and how it affected the industries we now serve. Our Company Snapshots will examine companies from that period and see where they are today.
*Image courtesy of Lowe’s