From humble beginnings a century ago in North Carolina, Lowe’s has climbed to the top of the North American home improvement industry. With a commanding #2 position in its class, Lowe’s is a go-to resource for those working in the construction, home renovation and building maintenance trades, as well as for retail consumers. First, let’s take a look at Lowe’s stores in the state of Ohio.
There are 83 Lowe’s locations in Ohio. Multiple locations in key cities across the state provide consumer convenience, including in Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo.
Let’s find out more about Lowe’s and its industry dominance for over 100 years. Knowing that we can find more than 80 Lowe’s locations in Ohio, let’s explore what each store features and how Lowe’s developed its market leadership and corporate distinction.
How Many Lowe’s Stores Are in Ohio?
With 83 stores in the state, Ohio has one of the largest concentrations of Lowe’s stores per capita. While there are other states with just as many or more Lowe’s stores, they tend to be in states with larger populations, like California, Texas, and Florida.
Ohio is tied with Pennsylvania for the fifth-most Lowe’s stores out of the fifty states. In the United States in Total, there are 1723 Lowe’s stores, and the state with the smallest number of stores is Wyoming, with just one location.
Lowe’s Expansion into the 21st Century
Named after its founder, Lowe’s was a North Wilkesboro, NC hardware store during the Roaring Twenties. After WWII, Lowe’s rode the wave of the post-war construction boom and launched another five stores by 1955.
In 1971, Lowe’s went public with an offering on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE – LOW) and its number of stores extrapolated accordingly. With almost 2,200 stores now, spreading out from its US origins to Mexico and Canada, Lowe’s is a Fortune 500 company with 300,000 employees.
Lowe’s sells a wide assortment of hardware and home improvement products. Here is a sampling of their in-store and online inventory selection:
- Building Supplies
- Cleaning Supplies
- Doors & Windows
- Electrical & Lighting
- Hardware & Tools
- Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
- Home Décor/Furniture
- Lawn & Garden
- Finish Carpentry
- Smart Home/Electronics
- Storage & Organization
- Pet Supplies
- Sports & Fitness
Installation and trade-specific labor can be purchased through Lowe’s stores as well, with a wide network of affiliated local and national contractors. Service professionals are available for the following niche tasks, as well as a wide variety of other construction and home renovation trades:
- Fencing installation
- Window upgrades/installation
- Exterior siding
Lowe’s presence in the mid-west is more significant than its national competitor, Home Depot. Outnumbering Home Depot locations in Ohio by a healthy margin, regional demand and support for Lowe’s is strong in this area of the Midwest and out-rivals other industry players. However, on a national and international basis, Lowe’s stats are slightly behind Home Depot.
Although retail sales are a significant portion of its annual revenues, Lowe’s recent sales focus has made inroads by targeting more services for construction and trades industry personnel. The following features are all part of Lowe’s professional, trades-focused program:
- Volume pricing
- Financing opportunities
- Delivery options
- Store site parking and loading advantages
- Tool rentals
- Nation-wide accounts
- Digital procurement options
- Estimation services from blueprints
- Safety Data Sheet access
- Online materials calculators
- Electronic submission for automatic inventory replenishment
- Lowe’s branded “Lowes4Pros” loyalty rewards program
Lowe’s Commitment to Social Responsibility
A longtime member of the elite Fortune 500 group of publicly traded companies, Lowe’s recently became an industry leader for diversity in the C-suite. Lowe’s current CEO, Marvin R. Ellison, is one of only four African-American Fortune 500 CEOs. Mr. Ellison formerly worked with Home Depot, J.C. Penny and Target and now holds the triple roles of CEO, President and Chairman of the Board for Lowe’s.
In mid-July 2021, Lowe’s announced the return of its successful “Making it with Lowe’s” pitch program. Partnered with Shark Tank’s Damon John, Mr. Ellison recently announced the pandemic recovery round of the popular small business competition. Mr. Ellison explained that the program is “an extension of our commitment to underserved communities and helps us to ensure that our products are as diverse as our associates and customers.”
Lowe’s corporate commitment, through programs such as “Making it with Lowe’s,” is to encourage innovative entrepreneurs, particularly from LGBTQ+, minority, disabled, female and veteran communities. Lowe’s provides coaching and business expansion mentorship, along with financial grants.
In 2020, Lowe’s “Total Home Strategy” supplier diversity program participated in the $55 million grant funding for minority-owned and rural small businesses. Two thousand, seven hundred recipients received funding through Lowe’s partnership with the Local Initiative Support Corporation under a program specifically addressing small business relief during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
Internationally, Lowe’s unique Canada Heroes Campaign recently donated $2.1M to 235 non-profit organizations across Canada, as Lowe’s continues to promote community participation and a sense of ‘giving back’ to the international communities it calls home.
Post Pandemic Expansion
In 2007, Lowe’s determined that it would pursue an international expansion plan. With locations opened in Mexico and Canada, Lowe’s is succeeding in both new markets. In Canada, Lowe’s operates under its well-known name, as well as additional Canadian-branded stores under the name RONA.
Sales in the pandemic year 2020, when consumer purchases for home renovations (to accommodate the sudden demand for remote office work) grew 24% over the previous year, came in at a total of $90B across all regions. Lowe’s stores serve over 20 million customers every week.
A further spill-over effect of COVID-19 and 2020’s increased sales was a recent hiring push, announced for the Cleveland, Ohio area Lowe’s stores.
Over 700 new employees were targeted for on-boarding in a variety of store-specific roles, including:
- Retail associates
- Merchandising associates
- Inventory management personnel
Across all of its stores, Lowe’s is anticipating new hires in the range of 50,000 additional staff in 2021. As a socially conscious employer, Lowe’s is known for its community participation, promotion of diversity and minority representation. Lowe’s offers the following standard employee benefits:
- Competitive pay
- Health & welfare benefits
- Benefit provision for full-time and part-time employees
- Employee insurance
- Employee stock purchase plan
- Retirement plans
- Paid time off and leave programs
- Tuition assistance
Lowe’s is a hardware store that grew up, spawned offspring and continues to spread its community and business presence throughout the continent. From beginnings in North Carolina to the far reaches of the Eastern Seaboard, from the Mid-West to the Pacific Northwest, from Florida to Hawaii and from Alaska to Mexico, you can rest assured that the service and selection you find in your local Lowe’s is available in all of its 2,200 locations.