Lowe's roars in Q1

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Lowe's roars in Q1

By HBSDealer Staff - 05/20/2020
Lowe’s reported first quarter 2020 sales of $19.7 billion, rising more than 11% from sales of $17.7 billion in the first quarter 2019.

Comp sales rose 11.2% as comps at Lowe’s U.S. business jumped 12.3% for the quarter.

The Mooresville, N.C. home improvement giant also posted net earnings of $1.3 billion, a 30% increase from net earnings of $1 billion for the same period a year ago.

Online sales at Lowes.com shot up by 80%, according to president and CEO Marvin Ellison.

During the quarter Lowe's made a commitment to combating the COVID-19 crisis through an investment of $340 million, including support for healthcare workers and first responders.

The retailer made two special payments of $300 for full-time hourly associates and $150 for part-time hourly associates to help with unexpected expenses, totaling approximately $145 million, during the quarter. Lowe's also increased pay by $2 per hour for the month of April for front-line associates.

Lowe's said it committed $50 million in charitable contributions, to support communities during the pandemic response, including a $10 million donation in essential protective products for medical workers. The company also donated all available respirators to the country's two largest healthcare distribution organizations

During the quarter, Lowe's hired about 100,000 new associates for the spring season.

As of May 1, Lowe's operates 1,970 stores in the United States and Canada.

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The Bottom Line: Sales surge 11% to $19.7 billion as Lowe’s profits are strong, ascending 30% to $1.3 billion.

What the CEO said: "I am tremendously proud of our associates and how they rose to meet the challenges of this global health crisis, and have continued to serve their communities, providing our customers with the essential products and services they need to keep their homes safe and functional, and their businesses running," said CEO Marvin Ellison.

"Our strong first quarter performance, which continues into May, also reflects the benefits of our retail fundamentals strategy, the improvement in our execution, and the resiliency of our home improvement business model."

Ellison noted that, "to assist other retailers in operating safely in this exceptionally challenging environment," Lowe's has shared its best practices with the Retail Industry Leaders Association and with any other retailer who is interested.

During a Wednesday morning conference call, Ellison provided a few specifics concerning Lowe's first quarter sales.

“We served broad-based project activity, ranging from outdoor landscaping and other beautification projects to essential indoor repair and maintenance work and long deferred home projects, the to-do list that customers hadn’t previously tackled given their busy schedule,” he said.

Company info: Lowe’s full first quarter 2020 report is available here.