Following the report on Lowe’s strong 4Q results at www.tedmag.com, the DIY giant held its earning report conference call with reports to dig into the numbers. While the fourth quarter earnings beat expectations by more than $500 million in revenue, it also believes 2017 will be a successful year.
During the conference call, Lowe’s Chairman, President, and CEO Robert Niblock credited a part of that success story to its expanding pro customer opportunities, including the success of its e-commerce site www.lowesforpros.com.
“Pro-customer sales were robust with another quarter of comp growth well above the company average. We’re proud of our success with pro-customer and continue to make investments to expand our capabilities to better serve this important customer,” Niblock told reporters.
One area of improvement in the Lowe’s offering to pro contractors is in the products themselves. Lowe’s has made the commitment to meet the needs of contractors both online and inside the store. “We’ve greatly improved our pro offering with key brand introductions and investments in the breadth of assortment to ensure that pro-customers have the right selection of products, ultimately serving as a one stop shop, a place where pros can purchase all the products they need to complete their project and get back to the jobsite quickly,” Mike McDermott, Chief Customer Office explained.
McDermott also gave some insight into the Lowe’s strategy to grow the pro customer base. The first part is making sure the lowesforpros website remains a valuable asset to the DIY giant. “We continue to evolve our capabilities to connect with pro across channels,” McDermott explained. “And we’re seeing the pros engage more in the channels that best fit their unique needs, whether that’s online with LowesForPros.com, at the market level with our account executive ProServices specialist or in our stores with our dedicated in-store ProServices teams.”
In fact, McDermott added the efforts of the on-the-street ProServices sales specialists is going to grow, and he expects the team to have an even larger impact in 2017. “Our AEPs have been very effective and growing our business with larger pro-customers, especially maintenance repair and operations or MRO customers,” McDermott said.
Chief Financial Officer Bob Hull, who is retiring following this earnings report, announced that the first quarter of 2017 for Lowe’s is off to a “great” start, and that credit card use for the pro customer has reached nearly 29% of the customers, which is up about 20 basis points versus the same period last year.
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