Lowe’s reported it’s first quarter results on Wednesday, May 24, which prompted analysts to use phrases like “a broad miss”, “failed to carry the momentum of the final quarter of 2016”, and “Lowe’s loses ground to Home Depot”. Lowe’s fell nearly $100 million in projected revenue for the first quarter of 2017, and earnings per share was down $0.03.
But, the DIY giant is working toward the rest of 2017 with two major initiatives, both of which will impact NAED members. First, it is growing its effort to bring in more Pro contractor customers. “We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made to enhance our product and service offering for the Pro customer,” Robert Niblock, Chairman, President and CEO of Lowe’s said in a conference call, “delivering another quarter of comps well above the Company average. And we continue to expand our capabilities to better serve this growing customer group.” In fact, Lowe’s is reporting growth in its Pro sector to be more than two times its overall comp.
Lowe’s plans to continue to reach out to the Pro customer with an aggressive marketing campaign for the rest of 2017, which includes reaching out to new business. “We continue to drive Pro awareness with targeted marketing including expanded digital capability,” Mike McDermott, Chief Customer Officer told reporters, “as well as Pro exclusive offers to grow our share of wallet with existing Pros, while also generating new business. Our focus on further strengthening our portfolio of brands, continuing to build upon our omni-channel offering through our growing Pro services team and lowesforpros.com are all part of a broader commitment to build our strong foundation to anticipate and serve the needs of the Pro customer.”
Lowe’s added it saw significant gains in its rough plumbing and electrical sales to Pro customers in the first quarter of 2017.
The second part of the Lowe’s plan for a successful 2017 is through last week’s acquisition of Maintenance Supply Headquarters. The acquisition will allow Lowe’s to own a distributor of MRO products in the Southeast, South Central, and Western parts of the United States. That will help the company build on the acquisition of Mid-Atlantic last November, which distributes MRO products in the Northeast.
“This acquisition will substantially expand our ability to serve the multifamily housing industry as both the primarily and secondary supplier, while also increasing our presence in major metro markets and strengthening our foundation for future growth,” Niblock said. “I think it’s just going to give us opportunity to continue to perpetuate the great momentum that we had with the Pro customers. We continue to deepen our relationships particularly with the opportunities we see in the MRO business.”
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