Would you invest in Lowes?
Furby

Mooresville, NC

#1 May 17, 2012
If you were going to invest in a retail company what are some of the things you would look for?

1. Are same store sales increasing?

For a majority of our stores the answer is no. We are a "bricks and mortar" retail outlet so if you factor out the internet sales then same store sales are decreasing. You can't double dip and say look our internet sales are up x% as a company and also claim same store sales are up while including the internet sales.

2. What is being done to improve the bottom line?

We have done some serious expense reduction in the last year, mostly at the expense of employees earnings. No doubt there was some fat that needed to be cut, but when a company makes the drastic wholesale cuts we have made it would raise questions in a potential investor's mind about the viability of that company's stock. You cannot reduce expenses that drasticly every year. It seems like a desparate measure.

3. How has the stock been performing?

Over the last 5 years, our stock has been riding the same roller coaster as the Dow. Look at the charts, they are nearly identical. This shows that our price fluctuates with the market and executive decisions have had little bearing on that price.

If we are trying to become an internet company then let the employees and investors know, but don't try to straddle the tracks or you will get run over.
Thatoneguy

Cape Girardeau, MO

#2 May 17, 2012
If i can still buy it when it drops to 19 bucks a share and sell it when it jumps to 32 bucks a share, yes. Thats too easy.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#3 May 17, 2012
Furby you are right on all accounts and I will add this one
The upper management does not own a significant percentage of the stock.

Now if Niblock owned say 10% and stone owned 5% then that would mean something.

If you run a company and you are the top of that company and don't even own 1% of what you run that says more about the leadership than anything else. Leadership should serve an an example.
MDLow

United States

#4 May 17, 2012
Stone??? He's been gone almost a year.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#5 May 18, 2012
Yeah but he could still own the stock. Bill Gates hasn't worked at microsoft for years but he still owns a significant percentage of it making him one of the richest people on the planet. Much of the Walton family owns most of Walmart and they do not always work for the company.
interested shareholder

North Wilkesboro, NC

#6 May 18, 2012
This stock is not one to buy. Niblock is going to bankrupt this company with the things he is doing. No leadership at all, and he is puttting his friends into high positions. They have no experience either. He has only 1 person on his staff with any operational experience.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#7 May 18, 2012
nedm wrote:
Yeah but he could still own the stock. Bill Gates hasn't worked at microsoft for years but he still owns a significant percentage of it making him one of the richest people on the planet. Much of the Walton family owns most of Walmart and they do not always work for the company.
The Waltons haven't done much since their TV show ended.
interested shareholder

North Wilkesboro, NC

#8 May 18, 2012
Home Depot is a better buy now. I have dumped my Lowes stock.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#9 May 19, 2012
Lowe's has always been a follower going after Home Depot "lets be a big box". And now, Amazon " lets be a internet store". The top, putts out pipe dreams like we will have "technology" we have new I phone's that can barely make a call. Yet not even tap the poetical of the phone. All the time ignoring the big pink elephant named "genesis" in the room. if in the last 10 years we had put the money in the stores and systems. that we spent on Falcon 900's and corporate palaces. Were would we be?
"and really LEF we know were we would like to be but have no plan and 90% of company's fell at these changes.--really--really"
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#10 May 20, 2012
Waltons are pretty rich though
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walton_family
interested shareholder

North Wilkesboro, NC

#11 May 20, 2012
The executive management does not think the future is in the stores. In their opinion, the future is sales online. Stores will not be needed. It is stupid to think if a woman wants to pick out new flooring, or new kitchen cabinets, she will go online. A woman wants to see it, feel it.

The company is headed in the wrong direction.
Radar

Pierceton, IN

#12 May 20, 2012
interested shareholder wrote:
The executive management does not think the future is in the stores. In their opinion, the future is sales online. Stores will not be needed. It is stupid to think if a woman wants to pick out new flooring, or new kitchen cabinets, she will go online. A woman wants to see it, feel it.
The company is headed in the wrong direction.

Sure, there's a future for on-line sales, but my observation is that Niblock and the Mooresville leadership are one-ball jugglers. They've gone from wasting money on brick-and-mortar stores opened helter-skelter, to the position that major home improvement projects can be sold on-line. I don't see any effort to understand demographic niches, to capture the dollars of both high tech and low tech customers, with a blend of high touch and low touch strategies. Everything is black or white, so they'll chase the newest technology, while burning their bridges with long-tenured specialists. Meanwhile, HD will sit back and see what technologies actually paid off, and cherry pick talent deserting Lowes. It feels like calm heads prevail at HD, while they jump around like f$@ts in a frying pan in Mooresville.
Bird

United States

#13 May 20, 2012
Radar wrote:
<quoted text>
Sure, there's a future for on-line sales, but my observation is that Niblock and the Mooresville leadership are one-ball jugglers. They've gone from wasting money on brick-and-mortar stores opened helter-skelter, to the position that major home improvement projects can be sold on-line. I don't see any effort to understand demographic niches, to capture the dollars of both high tech and low tech customers, with a blend of high touch and low touch strategies. Everything is black or white, so they'll chase the newest technology, while burning their bridges with long-tenured specialists. Meanwhile, HD will sit back and see what technologies actually paid off, and cherry pick talent deserting Lowes. It feels like calm heads prevail at HD, while they jump around like f$@ts in a frying pan in Mooresville.
I agree. They didn't burn their bridges with the specialists, they blew them up. They are trying to force customers to make Lowe's irrational ideas reality. You can buy things online from Amazon, but nobody in their right mind is going to pick out a $10,000,$20,000,$30,000 remodel project online. They want to see the products in front of them. And if you need something now, chances are, you aren't going to want to wait 3-7 days for shipping or fight a constantly crashing or incomplete website to buy it before you pick it up. I love the comic strip style posters they put up in the training room fantasizing about how Random customers are going to be on vacation looking online at their project and being swept off their feet by LEF. I love how it shows store managers talking about getting to know their customers soooo much better on an individual level, "like a small town hardware", I believe it said, due to the My Lowe's card, and how it shows people looking diligently at customer's projects picking out odds and ends such as flowers. I laughed my Arse off. What part of fantasy land did they get stuck in? Magic shrooms maybe? Hard to tell, but I am getting more complaints about the way the store is being run now than ever before. And since when does any store manager have anything to do with every single little project for every single customer? They have bigger fish to fry and rightfully so.

In fact, last week, I had a customer that was satisfied with my service, yet they still demanded the customer care phone number so they could complain about so many products not being in stock or WEX. That is after we looked through about 5 different refrigerators that weren't available for at least a week or anyone's best guess. The customer ended up buying one appliance and going elsewhere for the refrigerator. What's that about add on sales? I didn't see the part about adding on what we don't have. Must have missed it.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#14 May 21, 2012
But the problem is remodels are getting rarer these days. Instead of waiting for the housing market to get better lowes is focusing on selling more products online. Sales of knobs increased nearly 3x due to adding more of a description and more general product information.

What matters to the company is profit. Some organizations have to change in order to survive. March of Dimes existed to cure polio. When it was cured they changed to promote folic acid for pregnant women. Likewise since the housing market isn't going to get better any time soon it costs them much less to expand their website and product line rather than hire en masse to sell something to a shrinking group of people.
Furby

Mooresville, NC

#15 May 21, 2012
Today our CEO, Chairman of the Board, President announced projections for the rest of the year won't meet previous expectations causing the stock price to drop nearly 10%. Way to go Nibbie, smart move. Another reason Lowes is not a good investment; executive stupidity.
interested shareholder

North Wilkesboro, NC

#16 May 21, 2012
He is looking for a new CIO. The company needs to be looking for a new CEO.
Bird

Burbank, IL

#17 May 21, 2012
nedm wrote:
But the problem is remodels are getting rarer these days. Instead of waiting for the housing market to get better lowes is focusing on selling more products online. Sales of knobs increased nearly 3x due to adding more of a description and more general product information
I disagree with you that remodeling is decreasing. In the last year, 4 neighbors within 100 yards of my home were involved in a remodel project of some sort. Two added on rooms, one completely remodeled the inside and outside of the house, another remodeled inside, and outside, adding on a wraparound deck and revamping their landscaping. My parents and sister are involved in remodeling projects, again, both inside and outside, and many of my friends are now remodeling their homes as well. We still get tons of kitchen designs, which to me is considered a remodeling project. In fact, I would say that remodels are up, not down as people are remodeling and updating the homes they have trying to increase the value of the home or make it more comfortable to live in, not buying new. And as far as sales increasing on knobs, big deal. The most expensive ones are just over 20 bucks a piece if I had to guess. I've had this argument before with people. How many knobs or fittings would someone have to sell to make the profit that would have been made on just that one refrigerator that I mentioned above? I seriously hope that Lowe's isn't spending billions on LEF just to sell more odds and ends. It would be like a tackle shop that quit stocking fishing rods, fishing line, and bait, just to be able to offer more hooks online. Just what are you going to attach the hook to, and put on it when you do? And, I get what the March of Dimes did, but so far, nobody has eradicated the need for in stock products.

Their sales will drop due to this, most people came to Lowe's for appliances because unlike HD, tons of product was in stock. Now, their competition just got much tighter. Also, cancelling ICB's was stupid. I've heard the excuse that it costs too much to go pick up product, then bring it back and take it back out again. Really? So, if I pick up product from a store lets say 20 miles away, is the mileage any different than that store delivering it to a local home in the area???? Sure, maybe by 5-10 miles, but how is that saving any money? Are they telling me the cost to Lowe's to ship the product common carrier from an internet warehouse is any cheaper if they aren't charging the customer for the cost of shipping? See, I can understand a need for a heavy internet presence for companies such as Bass Pro Shop's, Cabela's, Gander Mountain, etc.(if you can't tell, I like the outdoors). However, these companies have very very few stores compared to Lowe's. The average Joe may not want to drive 50-100's of miles to get to one. But, although they have an internet order system that would make Lowe's "red" with envy, they still stock tons of products from Boats to incredibly expensive firearms and electronics, right down to the smallest odds and ends for walk in customers to purchase. They still have vast amounts of products for customers to choose from either online or in store.

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