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International Directory of Company Histories

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The company got established in 1921. The founder of the company was Lucius Lowe who established the North Wilkesboro hardware. It got located at North Wilkesboro in North Carolina. His business got inherited by his daughter named Ruth in 1940 when Lowe died. After some months, the daughter sold the company to his brother Jim Lowe. The brother was serving the world war-2 hence did not have time to run the business. He left the business to her mother together with Ruth to run it. Jim took Carl Buchan who was Ruth’s husband, to be a partner in the business in 1943. It was under Carl’ management that the store focused on the sale of hardware together with other building materials. Before that time, the company had been selling dry goods, notions, horse tacks, snuff and groceries. Carl decided to change the product mix. In 1949, the company bought a second store in Sparta at Northern Carolina. More stores got opened in the 1950’s by the company. The two partners differed on how to expand the business in new areas. In 1952, they split the business. Buchan took control of the building supply and hardware business. Lowe took the joint ventures initially controlled by the two and included a car dealership. Eventually, Buchman became the owner of Lowe’s while Lowe started a grocery store chains by the name Lowe’s food in 1954. Other stores got opened by Buchman by 1955 in the states of North Carolina, Durham, harlot and Asheville. He later died in 1960. His company got to the public in 1961 and got sold. Lowe expanded his stores. In 1961, he had more than 21 stores and his revenues got to about 32 million dollars. His businesses got famous in the southeast United States. It suffered in 1980’s when there was an increase in competition and market condition due to new Big-box chain. Lowe did not agree to adopt the mega-stores format because the management believed that smaller towns did not support jumbo stores. He later adopted the big-box format so as to survive in the market. To date, his stores are of a big-box variety although there are some classic formats adopted in some states. Since then, Lowe has grown nationally. It gets aided by the garden and Eagle hardware. It happens to be rated as the second home improvement chain in United States. It has also expanded outside the United States. It started by opening branches in Southern Ontario, Hamilton at the Barton Street. In 25th august 2009, Lowe Company entered into a joint venture with Woolworths’ Company based, in Australia. The aim was to venture into the Australian market using big-box style super stores. They are trading using the name Masters Home improvement. They opened their first store on 31st august 2011 in Bray brook, in Australia. The company has undergone through a lot of challenges that many businesses can learn. The company has continued to expand every year with reported increase in profits.

The Lowe business has participated in the conservation of the environment. Lowe stands out a retailer of products that are energy-efficient. The company got an award for efforts to reduce the green-house gas through his product. The company performs education on consumers about the value of saving the environment through the Energy Star program. Lowe released a policy in 2000 promising that wood products will not be sourced from forests. The CEO of Lowe indicated that the new environmental policy is a considerable victory to the forests. Another effort to conserve the environment is the use of direct deposits for the payrolls in the company. Employees who do not have bank accounts gets a chase pay roll card. The company has an outstanding record in the conservation of the environment.

In the company, Full-time hourly employees have a two week’s vacation in every year of service. They also enjoy three week’s vacation after five years. Salaried corporate employees receive two weeks of vacation immediately. The company offers comprehensive services to long-term employees. There is a variety of health benefits that are giving to employees including prepaid legal services. The employees in the company get offered with a wide selection of funds that they can invest. They get allowed to invest in the company’s stock. The company gives a baseline match to the employees in the 180 days of service. They can contribute more than 50 % for their paycheck. The company then matches the first 3 % and 6 % after the employee gets enrolled in the program. This plan got to be known as 401(k). The company also offers dental, vision and health plans for full-time employees. However, part-time employees are can access health services as well but in a limited way.  

The company involves itself in various sponsorship programs. In the year 2006, Lowe began a broadcast sponsorship program in Now York Yankees. They supported the radio broadcast booth where ideas get shared in this program. There are racing competitions sponsored by Lowe. The company purchased the naming rights of an organization known as Charlotte Motor Speedway located in North Carolina. The speedway got renamed as Lowe’s motor speedway in 1998 up to 2009. It has extended the naming rights as from 2010 racing season. The company has sponsored other speedway motorsport such as Bristol Motor speedway and Atlantic Motor speedway. The corporation is the largest sponsor of the ‘Nascar Sprint Cup’ five times champion Jimmie Johnson. It is also a partial sponsor of the nationwide team and Chevrolet Impala SS which happens to be owned by Hendricks motorsports. The Fernandez racing in the United States gets sponsorship from Lowe Company.

There are challenges faced by Lowe in the business field. The company got involved in a law suit revolving around payment systems. The company did not follow the practice known as variable rate overtime. Every company must face various kinds of challenges. Lowe is a dream company of many people. Their strategies used in marketing their products are unique. Since its establishment in 1940’s, it has continued to offer quality products. Time may have changed but, the quality happens to be maintained. We have also seen that the company is in the front line of conserving the environment. The many awards won by the company in the efforts to conserve the environment indicate a commitment to conserve the environment. The involvement of the company in various sponsorship programs helps it to grow further. It is a way of giving back to the society. It is also a way of advertising to the public. The management of various companies should learn from Lowe. They should borrow a leaf.

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