Lowe's identifies need to adapt in uncertain market
Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock hammered on the concepts of customer service and value during the company's 2010 Analyst & Investor Conference yesterday in Mooresville.
"At the core of our mission is the belief that we can grow by focusing on opportunities we have with existing customers," said Niblock, who added that the company must adapt to continue to be successful.
As far as additional growth potential is concerned, Niblock did the math. Lowe's annual sales are $48 billion, a small fraction of what the company described as a $568 billion total home improvement market.
In a difficult retail environment, Lowe's likes what it sees online. More customers are using the Web to research and shop for home products, and the Mooresville, N.C.-based retailer intends to make it easier for them.
"In mid-2011, we will be launching a more personalized Lowes.com experience, we're calling 'MyLowes.' The launch will allow customers to share more of their home improvement experiences with Lowe's through an intuitive customer-focused portal, as well as through online communities, project planning and product description tools."
During the event yesterday, Niblock described the company's Services Platform Initiative, representing in his opinion "the most exciting and challenging changes I've seen at my career in Lowe's."
The initiative began in 2009, when the retailer began developing improvements to its special order, project management, order fulfillment call center and installed sales systems. It's designed to improve operations in a number of ways, he said. For instance, it will replace legacy systems with more efficient package applications; it will provide more standardized tools across channels, and improve business processes to make it simpler to fill customer orders, he said.
When complete, the initiative will increase access to fulfillment options and transparency of order status, simplify processes and improve in-store and online technology infrastructure, he said.