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Lowe's (LOW) Pro Business & Online Wing Gains on High Demand

Lowe's (LOW) gains on sturdy demand for home-improvement products across channels. Growth in Pro business and solid omni-channel offerings are driving its performance.

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Spending on home-improvement needs remains high, even as outdoor movement gathers pace, as consumers continue to keep houses well maintained. Such trends have been favoring renowned home improvement products retailer, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. LOW. The company is witnessing strong growth in its Pro business and online platform. Also, the Total Home strategy has been gaining traction and meeting consumers’ needs across categories.

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Online Platform Looks Sturdy

Lowe’s online platform has been a feather on its cap. Online sales have been gathering pace owing to consumers’ growing preference for digital shopping and the company’s efficient omni-channel offerings. Lowe’s is investing to enhance its omni-channel retailing capabilities across stores, website and supply chain, to resonate well with high demand. The company completed the installation of Buy Online Pickup in Store touchless lockers across stores. It is also striving to enhance customers’ online shopping experience by improving features like search and checkout. Backed by such efforts and prudent assortments, sales in increased 7% in second-quarter fiscal 2021. Management believes that its online business model has tremendous potential to grow, backed by an efficient technology team and superior cloud-based platform. Other home improvement retailers such as Home Depot HD, Fastenal FAST and Beacon Roofing Supply BECN are also gaining from prudent digitization efforts and catering to consumers’ demand aptly.

Pro Category Looks Strong

Pro customers have been a significant driver to Lowe's business. In fact, continued focus on the Pro category is a very significant component of the Total Home strategy. During the fiscal second quarter, the company’ Pro sales increased 21%. To continue generating sales from pro customers, the company has been augmenting pro-focused brands. Prudent partnerships are helping the company to provide pro customers with a broad range of assortments that suit their specific home improvement and maintenance needs. Lowe’s refurbished its pro-service business website, to meet the special needs of Pro-customers. Management is focused on boosting greater Pro penetration via the Pro Customer Relationship Management or CRM tool.

Total Home Strategy & Growth Opportunities

Consumers have been investing in making homes well equipped for work-from-home and entertainment needs amid the pandemic. Lowe’s continues to cater to consumers’ requirements for remodeling, space-conversion projects as well as core repair and maintenance activity. Lowe's is also gaining traction with the Total Home strategy that includes providing complete solutions for various types of home repair and improvements needs. The total home strategy is expected to boost market share by accelerating investments in pro-related offerings, installation services, localization as well as boosting product assortments.

During the fiscal second quarter, the U.S. comparable sales were up 32% on a two-year stacked basis. This reflects on the consistent success of the company’s Total Home strategy. During the second quarter, the company saw 21% growth in Pro, 10% growth in Installation Services and strong comparable sales across the Decor product categories. It delivered strong comps across the kitchen and bath, flooring, appliances as well as decor on top of 20% increase in these categories in the year-ago period.

Wrapping up, execution of growth strategies along with compelling product offering of well-known brands and high-value private labels has been helping Lowe's to maintain solid footing in the home improvement space. Management believes that the home improvement market has robust growth potency, with consumers becoming highly motivated to invest in homes and continuation of urbanization trends. Backed by such upsides, the company expects revenues of nearly $92 billion for fiscal 2021, indicating growth of 2.7% year over year.

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