Lowe's opens first smaller prototype

Wilkesboro, NC — Looking to open up store opportunities in smaller markets, Lowe's opened its first smaller prototype store last week, in Elkin, NC. At 94,000 square feet, the new prototype is expected to have initial store sales volume of $20 million to $25 million, and yet the turns can be just as great as the larger metropolitan stores, executives said at the Banc of America Securities' consumer conference this week. The prototype, they added, is more geared toward single-store markets.

On the other side, Lowe's also plans to open the majority of new stores in larger, metropolitan markets, some of which have multiple store opportunities, said Marshall Croom, vp and treasurer. In the Indianapolis market in 1995, for example, Lowe's had six stores there while two competitors had a combined six units. Because of the growth of market and consolidation within the channel, Lowe's now operates 11 profitable stores in that market and sees more to come, while competitors have a total of 16 stores.

"We're becoming more of a destination store for the products we sell," Croom added.

It is always on the looking to add different brands to the merchandise assortment, said Nick Canter, senior vp, store operations, Northern region. New flooring brands are in development, while new fashion bath brands will be reset in the stores in the spring.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

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