Lowe’s donates over $9 million to help keep homes safe and affordable in Charlotte

Lowe’s Home Improvement store is donating $9.25 million in funding, products and gift cards to organizations in Charlotte to keep “homes safe, healthy and affordable” amid the coronavirus crisis.

Lowe’s announced Tuesday it is making the donations in a combination of funding, products and gift cards to nearly 30 local charitable groups and businesses for affordable housing, skilled trades training and technology, the company announced Tuesday.

The Mooresville-based company is extending how it thinks about the word home, company executive vice president of human resources Janice Little said.

Little told the Observer the donations are another step in the company’s efforts to help with community projects. Lowe’s also has an employee volunteer program that has been focused on affordable housing and skilled trades over the last year.

“We really need to make sure that we can support all members of our community,” she said.

Some of the Charlotte hometown projects supported through the donation, according to Lowe’s, include:

? $1.67 million to Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region to support home repair, new home construction and two new apprentices for its apprenticeship program. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, Habitat Charlotte Region has moved 26 families into newly completed homes.

• $1.33 million grant to the city of Charlotte for its Safe Housing Home Rehabilitation Program in the Beatties Ford Road Corridor to help with home repairs. It also helps older residents age in place and low- and moderate-income families be able to stay in their homes.

• $1 million to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation to create the Lowe’s Technology Lab at the new main branch offering technology help and classes.

? $50,000 donation to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation’s Connect for Tech program to help close the connectivity gap for local students during the pandemic.

• $200,000 in gift cards to Charlotte Center City Partners for artists to maintain the Uptown Black Lives Matter and Beatties Ford Strong murals. More than 120 small businesses in South End and Uptown also received gift cards for personal protection and sanitizing supplies and to make repairs to adapt to new opening procedures.

Lowe’s also announced $55 million in grants this summer with the Local Initiatives Support Corp. to support minority-, women-owned and rural small businesses nationwide.

Since July, over 35 small businesses in Charlotte have been awarded more than $725,000 in grants.

Lowe’s has more than 2,200 stores and 300,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada.

Last week, Lowe’s announced $100 million in bonuses for hourly workers on Friday, raising it’s total commitment to workers and communities since the start of the health pandemic in March to $775 million.

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©2020 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)

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Lowe’s, Madison Square Garden Sports, Nike, Salesforce and Microsoft highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 9, 2020 – Zacks Equity Research Shares of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. LOW as the Bull of the Day, Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. MSGS asthe Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on NIKE, Inc. NKE, salesforce.com, inc. CRM and Microsoft Corporation MSFT.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

As the Covid-19 pandemic stretches past its 200th day and Americans remain mostly in their homes as much as possible, there have been many winners and losers in the business world. The losers have been businesses that rely on in-person interactions for a significant portion of their revenues. Travel, leisure and entertainment have all suffered mightily.

Technology and technology services like video conferencing and file sharing companies that allow people to work at home more efficiently have been the obvious winners.

There have also been winners in lower-tech industries that suddenly find their goods and services in increased demand – and customers who’s lack of recent spending on recreational pursuits has left them with additional cash in their budgets.

Have you been to a home improvement store lately? With the exception of physical formats that have been tweaked to promote social distancing, you’ll probably find that it looks pretty much like business as usual.

For a huge retailer like Lowe’s Companies, a quick look at recent financials confirms that not only is it “business as usual,” in may respects, it’s better than usual. Suddenly consumers who have been confined to their homes have been embarking on a wide variety of home improvement projects.

The more time you spend in your home, the more likely you are to take on those nagging minor repairs that have been on your “to-do” list forever, as well as tackling bigger projects like painting and landscaping. Contractors have their schedules filled months into the future – and they shop at home improvement stores too – for plumbing, electrical, carpentry and concrete supplies.

With limited options for dining out, grills and other outdoor cooking equipment have been flying out of stores, along with larger appliances like refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers. Though unemployment remains stubbornly above recent averages, most Americans do remain employed. With almost no money spent on things like airline tickets and restaurant meals, many are finding that they have extra cash to spend on improving their environments.

Low interest rates have kept the housing markets extraordinarily healthy, and increased spending on home improvement projects tends to accompany residential real estate transactions.

The Share Price

One possible knock on Lowe’s right now is that the shares have already seen remarkable appreciation this year. During the market panic in March, those shares traded as low as $60 – an incredible bargain!

Even at recent levels near $170/share however, Lowe’s remains quite reasonably valued at 20X forward 12-month earnings estimates. For comparison purposes, competitor Home Depot trades at 25X forward earnings.

13 recent upward earnings estimate revisions earn Lowe’s

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Lowe’s gives $100 million more in bonuses to hourly employees

Shoppers wearing protective masks wait in line to enter a Lowe’s Cos. store in San Bruno, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Lowe’s said Wednesday it will give $100 million more in bonuses to hourly employees, as strong demand for home improvement continues.

It marks the sixth time the home improvement retailer has given additional pay to workers at its stores, distribution centers and support centers during the coronavirus pandemic. It gave bonuses to part-time, full-time and seasonal employees in March, May, July and August. It also increased pay by $2 an hour for the month of April. 

With the latest round, the home improvement retailer will have paid more than $675 million in additional pay to employees this year. It will pay the latest bonuses on Oct. 16. Full-time hourly employees will receive $300 and part-time and seasonal hourly employees will receive $150.

Also Wednesday, Lowe’s announced a cash tender offer for up to $3.5 billion of its outstanding debt securities. The company said the goal of the offer is to reduce its interest expenses and manage the maturities of its debt. 

Other retailers, including Walmart, Target and Kroger, have also given bonuses or increased worker pay during the pandemic. Walmart has given three rounds of bonuses and said it would remain closed on Thanksgiving to give employees time with their families. Target speeded along plans to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour as it phased out a temporary, pandemic-related $2 an hour wage increase.

Customers have shopped at Lowe’s for DIY supplies, kitchen appliances and landscaping tools as they spend more time at home during the pandemic. The global health crisis has also inspired some Americans to move out of cities and buy homes in suburban or rural areas, a trend that analysts predict will drive long-term sales for home improvement retailers.

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Can Lowe’s Overtake Home Depot’s Top Spot?

Where do you shop for home improvement projects? For many Americans, increasingly, the answer is Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW). Home Depot (NYSE: HD), a Dow Jones Industrial Average component and the largest U.S. home improvement retailer, benefited enormously from the recent positive trends in home improvement. But competitor Lowe’s did even better, and is right on its heels for the top spot. Can Home Depot keep its lead, or is it in danger of being overtaken by Lowe’s?

Why Home Depot needs to worry

Home Depot has been the leading home improvement chain for decades, being the first to create and expand its big box stores across the U.S. Annual sales came in at more than $110 billion in 2019, a 2% increase over the prior year. The company is admired as solution-driven and agile, and as it helps people across the country with do-it-yourself building projects, sales continue to grow.

Lowe’s is smaller than Home Depot in both store count and sales, and was struggling before Marvin Ellison joined as CEO in 2018. He set a plan to turn the company around, and it’s starting to take shape.

White king knocking off black king in Chess.

Image source: Getty Images.

As recently as February of this year, Lowe’s had an inadequate digital program, running way behind Home Depot, and almost all of its growth came from stores. But that gave the company great leverage, because as soon as it invested in a digital overhaul, sales exploded. The second quarter’s huge increase was powered by a 135% digital spike.

Lowe’s is making all sorts of improvements through its retail fundamental strategy. It revamped its website and mobile app, and moved over to the cloud. During the next year and a half, it’s planning to open a large number of distribution and fulfillment centers. It recently launched a professional tool rental program, and is focusing on pros with a new loyalty program. It’s also investing in renovating and modernizing stores. And it’s already No. 1 in certain categories. The company recently announced that it’s starting locker pickups, an innovation that Home Depot began two years ago. 

Lowe’s fiscal 2019 sales were $72 billion versus Home Depot’s $110 billion, but second-quarter 2020 earnings were creeping closer, with a 34% sales increase versus Home Depot’s 23% rise.

Metric Q2 2020 Q1 2020 Q4 2019 Q3 2019
Home Depot comps 23% 6% 5% 3%
Lowe’s comps 34% 12% 3% 3%
Home Depot digital 100% 80% 21% 22%
Lowe’s digital 130% 80% 3% 3%

Data source: Home Depot and Lowe’s quarterly reports.

How Home Depot is keeping its lead

Home Depot has an eye on the future, and that led to its multi-billion dollar investment in its One Home Depot strategy. This is meant to integrate all aspects of the company’s operations for a seamless shopping experience. This digital and distribution overhaul impacted its earnings in the short term, but long term, it has already paid off in big wins during the pandemic. And it means the top home improvement retailer still

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Lowe’s NFL “Home Team Roster” Is Doing Amazing Community Service Projects Across the Country

Lowe’s

During these tough times of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been amazed at how many people—celebrities and regular folks alike—have devoted themselves to helping those in need. Now, we’re happy to hear this piece of feel-good news from Lowe’s, the home improvement store, which has just launched the “Home Team Roster,” a lineup of players from all 32 NFL teams working on various community impact projects in their respective NFL hometowns.

For the partnership, each player will volunteer on a project ranging from affordable housing repairs and small business support to veterans’ outreach and disaster recovery. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback and 2019 NFL MVP, is serving as “captain” for Lowe’s Home Team, and is very much looking forward to making a difference in Charm City.

For his specific project, the star quarterback will work with Lowe’s and Baltimore’s Southwest Partnership to help with the opening of the United Way Family Center in Poppleton at Excel Academy. The center provides quality early childhood education and daycare, as well as support for student parents. The United Way Family Center is part of Lowe’s broader commitment to support housing and workforce needs in Southwest Baltimore.

“It’s important for me to be able to give back to the community and support the people that have supported me,” Jackson said in a Lowe’s press release. “Being a part of the Lowe’s Home Team is special for me because it gives me the chance to bring people together and give back.” The soon-to-open family center is pictured below, and we’re hopeful it will be a very special addition to the community.

Julie Filderman (United Way of Central Maryland)

Julie Filderman (United Way of Central Maryland)

The Home Team roster also includes fellow ‘co-captain’ Carolina Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey, Pittsburgh Steelers’ James Conner, Atlanta Falcons’ Calvin Ridley, New York Giants’ Will Hernandez, and Dallas Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb.

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Lowe’s Gains From Home Improvement Business & Online Sales

Home renovation and maintenance activities have been gaining prominence lately, thanks to increased stay-at-home practices amid the coronavirus pandemic. The trend has been benefiting certain home improvement market players, including Lowe’s Companies, Inc. LOW. This apart, the company’s efforts to expand digital offerings is worth appreciating. These upsides were well-reflected in the company’s second-quarter fiscal 2020 results, with the top and the bottom line improving year on year. Let’s dig deeper.

Bright Prospects in Home Improvements Market

Growing inclination toward home improvement projects is quite visible in Lowe’s second-quarter fiscal 2020 results. Comparable sales (comps) for the company’s U.S. home-improvement business increased 35.1% in the second quarter, following an increase of 12.3% in the first quarter.

In the reported quarter, comps gained from sturdy project demand from DIY and pro customers across channels, product categories and geographies. It saw comps growth of more than 20% across all its merchandising divisions, while all the U.S. geographic regions posted comparable sales increase of at least 30%.

Industry experts point out that that consumer spending on home improvement products are likely to remain favorable in the near term. Safety concerns and continued work-at-home practice amid the pandemic have compelled individuals to stay inside. As a result, DIY projects for remodeling, decorating as well as maintenance of furniture and fixtures are being widely undertaken. We expect Lowe’s to keep gaining from such trends.

Digital Investments are a Key Growth Catalyst

Lowe’s is investing toward boosting its omni-channel operations for a while. When shopping preferences began witnessing a major shift with the onset of the pandemic, Lowe’s accelerated its efforts to expand digital offerings. In this context, the migration of Lowes.com to the cloud as well as the roll out curbside pickup helped the company sustain online growth.

We note that the company has been building upon its in-store technology and delivery network over the past 18 months to support elevated DIY and Pro customer demand. Markedly, sales at Lowes.com increased 135% in second-quarter fiscal 2020, as the company’s pro and DIY customers increasingly shopped online. This drove online penetration to 8% of sales.

Moreover, the company is focusing on further enhancing capabilities such as online-delivery scheduling and order tracking as well as search and navigation. Moreover, with rising demand for contactless services, Lowe’s latest investment in self-service lockers is another feather in its cap. More than 60% of the company’s online orders are picked up in stores. Hence, broadening pickup options are a worthwhile strategy for the company for creating a frictionless shopping experience for time-pressed customers.

Well Lowe’s isn’t the only company in the home improvements space striving to gain from consumers growing digital inclination. Other players such as Home Depot HD, Fastenal FAST and Beacon Roofing Supply BECN are also gaining on the back of prudent digitization efforts.

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Christian Siriano, Rebecca Minkoff & Jason Wu Curate Affordable Home Decor Collections for Lowe’s

Jamie McCarthy/Getty; Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic; Lars Niki/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

High fashion is coming home with a new collaboration between Lowe’s and New York Fashion Week. 

The home improvement store has paired up with three of fashion’s biggest names — Christian Siriano, Rebecca Minkoff and Jason Wu — to show how fashion and interior design are uniquely intertwined. 

Each designer handpicked a collection of home decor items from Lowe’s that they will be using to style their NYFW runway shows later this month, curating an “edit” of products that speak to them and their personal aesthetic. The products, which range from lighting fixtures to furniture to wall art and everything in between, are all shoppable now on the Lowe’s website — and while they may be runway-ready, they’ve got sample sale-worthy price tags.

Inspired by the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has left people spending more time in their houses, the designers curated their collections while keeping in mind what makes them feel most at home. 

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Minkoff’s collection therefore pays homage to New York City, the place she says she will always call home despite being raised in California. The womenswear designer (whose eponymous brand was founded in N.Y.C.) curated her edit with modernity and chicness in mind, choosing items that are detailed, linear and a little edgy. Think: a round, marble coffee table, a rattan chandelier and lots of white shearling. 

Lowe’s x NYFW Rebecca Minkoff’s curation

Siriano’s collection, on the other hand, is not inspired by one specific place, instead focusing on bringing a pop of glamour to any space, no matter where it is. Siriano’s edit plays with shapes and color, mixing dark wood, sleek metals and smooth upholstery. His mood board projects the ultimate downtown bachelor pad, with a grey velvet couch; a tripod floor lamp; a rustic wooden tray and more.  

Lowe’s x NYFW Christian Siriano’s curation

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Finally, Canadian-Taiwanese designer Wu curated his collection with one of his favorite vacation destinations, Tulum, in mind — because who doesn’t wish they could live in paradise? Bringing the outdoors in, Wu’s product selections include woven baskets, eclectic stoneware and a leafy Majesty Palm plant. 

Lowe’s x NYFW Jason Wu’s curation

“My home has always been a great source of inspiration for me, especially now that it’s not just a place I live, but where I’ve worked to bring my Spring 2021 collection to life,” Wu said in a press release. “I have always believed that beautifully considered design should be accessible, and I’m excited to debut a curated collection with Lowe’s that offer a glimpse into what home

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Lowe’s Reveals Home Decor Selections From Jason Wu, Christian Siriano, and Rebecca Minkoff

Jason Wu’s mood board. 

Photo: Courtesy of Lowe’s

For Lowe’s chief brand and marketing officer Marisa Thalberg, it’s clear that the connection between home decor and fashion isn’t much of stretch. “Our homes are more than just places we live,” she said during a virtual chat last Thursday. “They are a place of self expression.” As the same can easily be said of our clothing choices, this has become one of the guiding principles in the partnership between Lowe’s and designers Jason Wu, Christian Siriano, and Rebecca Minkoff, which was announced in August.

Working to bring New York Fashion Week (which will take place both digitally and in person September 13–17) to homes during this unique season, Lowe’s invited the three designers to outfit their runways in inventory from the vast home decor selection available on Lowes.com. From furniture and lighting to rugs and accessories, the products curated by each designer are available to shop as of this morning.

Products selected by Christian Siriano.

Photo: Courtesy of Lowe’s

For New York–based designer Jason Wu, the collaboration challenged him to recreate a taste of his home away from home. “Fashion shows are about experiences and building a dream,” Wu said during his conversation with Thalberg. “But to build a dream, you need the materials to do it.” Working with a subtle color palette, natural materials, and touches of greenery, Wu curated items for his Fashion Week presentation that evoke notes of a beachy jungle setting. Specifically, it’s a nod to Tulum, Mexico, where Wu had his 2016 wedding.

Wu, speaking like a true fashion designer, elaborated on the partnership and of working with a retailer whose reputation skews more power tools than stylish accessories: “There is glamour in everything; it’s about what you do with the materials you’re given.” In this case, the materials are products that Lowe’s already had in stock—a point the brand believes proves style can also be accessible and reasonably priced. The partners also hinted at a further collaboration, to be announced post–Fashion Week, that will reflect the ideas of both the home and giving back to communities important to the designers who have been affected by the pandemic. More exciting news, it seems, on the not-so-distant horizon.

Rebecca Minkoff’s vision.

Photo: Courtesy of Lowe’s

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Lowes Labor Day sale 2020: The best deals and sales

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lowe's coronavirus mask



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Lowe’s is one of the many retailers celebrating this Labor Day with a sale. Ring in the new season with the home improvement upgrade you’ve been waiting for — at a sweet discount.

The best Lowes Labor day deals for 2020

  1. Ring Doorbell 3, $150 (originally $200) [You save $50] through September 7
  2. Ring Pro Video Doorbell, $190 (originally $250) [You save $60] through September 7
  3. Amazon Echo Dot, $30 (originally $50) [You save $20] through September 7
  4. DeWalt 4-Tool 20-Volt Max Power Tool Combo Kit with Soft Case, $280 (originally $330) [You save $50] through October 31
  5. Yale Assure SL Smart Lock, $150 (originally $275) [You save $125]

For discounts on more than just home improvement, check out our list of the best sales this Labor Day.

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