I’m always reminding building materials manufacturers of how Lowe’s and Home Depot are constantly changing and trying new strategies. Here’s another change “opportunity for manufacturer” that involves Lowe’s and the Big Apple.
As Fortune magazine and Retail Wire report, Lowe’s is opening two locations in Manhattan that are smaller than their normal stores. This is different than Home Depot that operates full-size stores in the NYC market.
Lowe’s sees an opportunity as the popularity of city living continues to grow with both millennials and empty nester baby boomers. If this succeeds, they plan to roll out these stores to more markets.
The smaller store is to help reduce the cost of rent in these high-cost locations. It also makes sense as there a lot of products that are big sellers in suburbia but not so much in the city. Even with the growing popularity of green roofs, there probably isn’t much demand for lawn care products in Manhattan.
Lowe’s is also making use of some very creative and high-tech ways of displaying products. They have been recognized as a leader in the use of short form Vine videos. They are using these videos as window displays. Rather than a big parking lot as an entrance that you intentionally drive into they now have window shoppers who can be inspired to do a project.
Building Materials Manufacturers Can Take Two Approaches to This:
- “It’s only two stores. We’re going to wait and see if this is a success before we waste our time thinking about this. If Lowe’s wants something for these stores, they’ll ask us. It’s not our job to think about things like this; we do what we’re told.”
- “This could be a real untapped opportunity. Let’s go visit these stores and see what’s going on. How does our product fit into this type of store location? Let’s meet with the team in charge of this program. How can we help Lowe’s be more successful and learn along with them.”
Lowe’s and Home Depot are constantly changing. The manufacturers who really want to grow are aware of these initiatives and are proactively supporting the big box.
Read this article for more information on the differences between Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Contact me if you’d like to grow your big box sales.