The home improvement business is a developed industry that trade in a collection of household repair and maintenance products like hardware, tools, electrical goods, lumber, and merchandise for construction and renovations (Kwak, 2015). However, the entity entails a broad range of competitive landscape such as numerous house enhancement warehouse chains and lumberyards that operate within the firm’s market segment. As such, major competitors of Lowe’s include Home depot which is the biggest retail store in the United States with stores in all the fifty states, Menards with over three hundred outlets in fourteen states, Wesfarmers that dominates Australian hardware and home improvement industry, and Woolworth firm (Kwak, 2015).
Besides, traditional hardware, plumbing, electrical, and household supply retailers also pose as contenders for the clients, thus, facilitating innovation within the corporation to attract more customers (Lowe’s , 2017). Conversantly, Lowe’s clients include homeowners, renters, and professional customers (pro customers). Moreover, the retail consumers entail individual that owns a home and renters, complete broad selection of projects that differ along the range of do-it-yourself (DIY) and do-it-for-me (DIFM). Similarly, Pro consumer comprises of two large groupings that include construction trades and maintenance, and repair and operations. Furthermore, acquisition of Central Wholesalers a provider of house appliances in Mid-Atlantic have enabled the company to expand its customer by providing a variety of offerings to consumers (Lowe’s, 2017).
Market Structure and Its Characteristics
The household improvement enterprises have been concentrated exclusively in the consumer market with expected growth in the future. However, big-box retailers such as Lowe’s and Home Depot dictate the market, thus, enhancing competition among entities. Therefore, this creates an oligopolistic structure since the dominant enterprise’s control prices of products. The structure is reinforced by their competitors such as Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST), Target (TGT), and Best Buy (BBY) that do not provide a one-stop shop experience. Similarly, most of the rivals are niche players that sell primary household appliances. Significantly, the ability of both HD and LOW to procure various retail shops have enhanced effective and efficient expansion of their geographical boundaries and reducing competition.
Strength and Weaknesses
Competition between Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW) is stiff since these companies are the major stakeholders in the home improvement and appliances. Notably, differentiation between the merchandise is minimal concerning building materials, electrical, and plumbing applications. Therefore, price factor, national and international brands, and service to the clients plays a significant role in the growth of sales. Hence, to have a competitive advantage over its competitor, LOW have employed various techniques such as acquisitions to expand offerings, integrated retail channels, and internal expansion.
Acquisition to Expand Offerings
Procurement of a maintenance supply headquarters a distributor of commodities intended to maintain multi-family households has enhanced its customer base as numerous clients can easily access the place (Lowe’s , 2017). Similarly, the firm acquired Central Wholesalers located in Mid-Atlantic that has enabled the industry to expand its services to pro-customers through the provision of a range of offerings. Thus, increasing the business revenues since professional clients are more steadfast with greater order sizes than average consumers.
Integrated Retail Channels
To generate more income, the enterprise invested in an Omni-channel retail design to facilitate user experience. Nevertheless, the company is progressing its Omni-channel experience to make it simple for customers to relate with both indoor and exterior house project technicians (Lowe’s , 2017). Additionally, creation of an online schedule on the firm’s website has enabled comfortable appointments for the specialist by clients.
Purchase of RONA by the company remains a significant boost for the company since it plays a vital role in growth and spread of the enterprise in Canada. Consequently, LOW has lined RONA’s local specialists with its scale to develop a robust competitive advantage in the region over other competitors such as HD (Lowe’s, 2017).
However, the company has played fiddle in various aspects, and this has created an impact to its net revenue. The weaknesses comprise lack of control over manufacturing of goods, international limitations, and brand loyalty.
Absence of Product Control
Procurement of goods from over seven thousand local and international suppliers have created minimal control over merchandise quality, and it has made the company vulnerable to risks associated with foreign policies and financial stability of providers nations (Erskine, Camillo, Bajada & Holt, 2015).
Currently, Lowe’s has its outlets in the US, Canada, and Mexico limiting its clients based in other countries. However, lack of physical outlets in other regions has created an adverse effect on sale of merchandise though most of the firm’s products can easily be exported (Erskine, Camillo, Bajada & Holt, 2015).
Recall of various goods such as LED clip-on desks lamp sold exclusively from the company has created an adverse impact on client withholding and product reliability (Erskine, Camillo, Bajada & Holt, 2015).
The domination of Lowe’s Company in US, Canada, and Mexico market has helped the firm to expand its customer base and achieve more profits. Similarly, acquisition to expand offerings, integrated retail channel, and expansion have also contributed to its dominance. Therefore, this has enabled the business to have control of various prices of commodities and also to play a significant role in the US economy by providing jobs and tax revenues.
Erskine, A., Camillo, A. A., Bajada, A. J., & Holt, S. (2015). The Home Depot: A Competitor’s Strategic Audit, A Case Study. In Global Enterprise Management (pp. 171-189). Palgrave Macmillan US.
Kwak, N. H. (2015). A world of homeowners: American power and the politics of housing aid (Vol. 138). University of Chicago Press.
Lowe’s Reports First Quarter Sales and Earnings Results. (2017). Lowe’s Open House Newsroom. Retrieved 6 September 2017, from https://newsroom.Lowe’s .com/news-releases/Lowe’s reportsfirstquartersalesandearningsresults/