Lowe’s stumbles in second quarter

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s posted declines in net sales, comp-store sales and earnings in the second quarter ended Aug. 3.

“Our results fell short of our overall expectations,” said Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “However, I have confidence in our strategy and in our employees, and while we recognize the significant magnitude of change that we’ve asked the organization to absorb as we transform our business, we fully understand that we must improve our level of execution.”

The world’s second largest home improvement retailer posted sales of $14.2 billion in the quarter, down 2.0% from $14.5 billion in the same quarter last year. Comp-store sales in the quarter were negative 0.4%.

Earnings of $747 million were down 10.0% from the same quarter a year ago.

The quarterly comparisons in 2012, which is a 52-week year, are impacted by a shift in comparable weeks, the company said. For the six-month period, comparable-store sales increased 1.0%

As of Aug. 3, 2012, Lowe’s operated 1,748 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing 196.8 million sq. ft. of retail selling space.

That compares with rival Home Depot’s store count of 2,255 stores. Last week, Home Depot reported gains in comps and sales and a double-digit percentage gain in net earnings.

If Lowe's would concentrate

If Lowe's would concentrate on always being in stock when it comes to core basics, they would be in better shape. I am a department manager at an Upstate NY Lowe's and I have seen the mistakes that they have made. They decided,during the busiest season, to change all brass plumbing fittings to lead-free which is wonderful in theory. Just don't discontinue product and not replace it for months. Also the vanity lines that they discontinued and don't have a reset even scheduled yet. Plenty of product coming in but no where to put it. This is typical and sales are reflecting this haphazard approach. Home Depot is taking advantage because they pay attention to the basics.

There is a difference between

There is a difference between HD and Lowes. Retail is tough and someyhow, HD has the mojo to come back from chaos under Nardelli, and to get the focus back where it belongs. The market can certainly handle two strong competitors....where there are three, it might not be possibe. Now, the challenge is for Lowes to figure out what it needs to do to get the customers back in the stores.

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