Lowe's to Employ 1,400 Salespeople Visiting Customer Homes
Stock Chart for Lowe's Cos Inc (LOW)
Lowe’s has created an in-home selling position in about 80 percent of its more than 1,700 stores, Maureen Rich, a spokeswoman for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based company, said today in an interview. The retailer is filling those jobs internally and hiring new employees, she said.
Visiting homeowners is part of Lowe’s push to boost sales growth from existing stores as the company slows the pace of openings, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Niblock. Lowe’s is trying to revive sales after consumers worried about unemployment and foreclosures curbed spending, he said.
“We want to get those volumes moving back up,” Niblock, 47, told reporters today after the annual shareholders meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. “As we opened a new store, it cannibalized existing stores.”
On average, Lowe’s stores generated annual sales of about $38 million before the start of the recession in December 2007, the executive said. They dropped to $28 million to $29 million last year, spurring Lowe’s to intensify efforts to sell to homeowners as well as to commercial customers such as electricians, painters and landscapers, Niblock said.
The company plans to open 40 to 45 stores this year, compared with 62 last year. It opened 149 in the year that ended Feb. 1, 2008, according to a regulatory filing.
As of Jan. 29, Lowe’s had about 166,000 full-time employees and 73,000 part-time workers, according to a regulatory filing.
Lowe’s fell 37 cents to $24.75 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
By sales, the company trails Atlanta-based Home Depot Inc.
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