Lowe’s will be introducing a new PRO customer experience nationwide, with a tailored store shopping experience centered around new products and services. The goal here is to deliver speed and convenience upgrades designed to save Pro customers time and money.
According to Lowe’s, Pro customers shop at Lowe’s significantly more frequently than DIY customers, and the enhanced experience is designed to make Pros’ time away from the jobsite more efficient and productive.
The upgraded Pro shopping experience will include exclusive benefits:
Phone charging station – recharge your mobile device at the Pro Desk while you’re shopping.
Free Air – fill your tires or portable air tanks to help you get back to work quicker and with fewer additional stops.
Windshield cleaning – drive safer with a clean windshield.
Convenience rack – new items are coming to the snack and drink sections, such as pain relievers, personal care items (such as sun and hand care) and other essentials.
Pro trailer parking – featuring extended trailer parking spots.
Lowe’s says they will also be introducing new technologies to help associates improve their Pro customer relationships. This new tool will “help associates engage with Pros unlike ever before and ultimately help them grow their business.” It’s unclear what this means, but more personal Pro-associate relationships are usually a good thing.
Dedicated Pro checkout – an expanding team of sales, cashier, and loading associates will help you get in and out of stores quicker.
Lowe’s estimates their Pro product market to be more than $400 Billion, and they also expect it to “grow faster than the overall US home improvement market in coming years.”
They also know that time is money and that fewer stops and work interruptions mean time and money saved.
This is definitely an interesting development, and I am curious to see how it evolves.
For the Lowe’s shopper – what do you think of these Pro shopping experience enhancements?
For the Home Depot shopper – will the prospect of an improved Pro customer experience at Lowe’s persuade you to shop there more often?
Are there any other changes you think Lowe’s should introduce as part of their Pro customer experience?
I ONLY go to lowes for stuff that I can’t get at homedepot. It really doesn’t matter what they put in their PRO area.
A in out lube would be perfect.
That’d actually be a pretty good idea. hmm.. i always thought a deli or coffee spot right inside would be ideal, almost like what Walmart does. Every other supply house I walk into typically has bagels in the morning and coffee all day… well they used to before the rona 🙁
This Super Home Depot has a Dunkin Donuts: https://toolguyd.com/super-home-depot/
In Colma, small town next to San Francisco, there is a regular Home Depot store, and then close by, less than two minute drive away, there is Pro Desk at the Home Depot, a separate building, about the size of a regular Home Depot. It has a loading zone, and its own parking too. How Lowe’s would compete with that?!
At least in our part of the world, HD is to Walmart as Lowes is to Target. And I don’t say that to hate on anyone, it’s just the reality of my experience as a customer. The Pro amenities seem like a great addition.
What part of the world. Seems like in the South, especially closer to NC, Lowes is bigger than HD.
it seems like they are just copying what homedepot already has. homedepot already sells pain relievers, sunscreen, chapstick etc. they already have dedicated trailer parking spots, they already have dedicated pro checkout, and they already have a “new technologies to help associates improve their Pro customer relationships. ” with their pro-extra programs. I honestly don’t know a single contractor who would give up their phone while shoping just to take advantage of their charging station. the air and windsheild cleaning is new and makes sense. It honestly makes sense that they are mirroring homedepot considering their ceo came from HD. they do have a ways to go before they can take that full swing and big orange, but competition is great IMO.
Not meant as a knock on anyone… But around me, Home Depot seems more of the pro store. Lowe’s is more of the DIY crowd.
I have always thought this as well.
Reverse of that around here
As long as they require me to use a credit card to sign up for pro benefits, and the guy in charge of the pro desk continues to be rude, the rest of it doesn’t really matter to me at my local Lowe’s
In the COVID era, my Lowe’s sometimes takes longer to check out than to shop. They have one staffer at the register and another directing the queue, and you’re probably getting sent to self checkout even if it’s clear that your purchase/payment is going to be a pain. I’ve got friendly help in Gardening to work around it but her register is only seasonal.
It’s nice that pros will get expedited, but then you may as well cut out half of the floor space because you’re not serving consumers. When pros realize the only real benefit was one stop shopping, you can close the other half, too.
HD isn’t a great company to support, but the competition makes it easy.
“HD isn’t a great company to support, but the competition makes it easy.” No kidding.
Especially in this era of “Wall Street before Main Street” I certainly have to agree.
We’re just extremely lucky to actually have really truly great hometown choices here in Portlandia.
Sounds like somebody else knows about the Delta Park Lowe’s!
Ha Portlandia! Great show. But the political and reality is sad. Some fantastic people, many misguided
I think Lowe’s is having an identity crisis, they can’t figure out whether to focus on decor and DIY stuff or the pro market. The result is a mess in their stores and they are losing both types of customer (at least around here). The DIY crowd is heading to Menards and the pros go to Home Depot or (more likely) one of the local lumber yards.
In my neighborhood, if you want to build something, you go to HD. If you want to put out some flowers or buy patio furniture, you go to Lowes. We don’t have Menards here.
Based on what information?
Free air! Thats good. Im a cheapskate and might pass out before completeing my purchase if they were charging. Hahaha. In all seriousness a great idea. Many times I see trailers getting loaded up that are borderline flat tires. And how many times have you picked up a nail on the job site and didn’t realize it.
Local Lowes has trailer parking spots that are easy in easy out.
Around here the “pro” loading area for HD and Lowes is congested with Harry Homeowner parking his Honda Ridgeline wana be truck in the way while taking an hour to buy 3 sticks of lumber. Its even worse when its raining due to the area being under a vestibule. “Pro’s” can be just as bad. At least the honda takes up less space than your average F250. If your not activley being loaded go park out in the lot with the rest of us!
If Lowes can figure out a technologically advanced way of getting people to excercise some common courtesy when it comes to getting supplies loaded they have struck gold!
Also for the pro lounge: Free beer and hotdogs at lunch time? Hey a guy can ask lol
The “pro” parking and “loading” zones always makes me so mad. I don’t care who is parking there but when they walk out with like one little bag! Like come on, none of you are that important you can’t walk an extra 35 seconds while picking up your tiny bag of bolts.
Tire fill is nice, but if it’s the same type as the gas station you’d be better off buying a bike pump. Window washing would be nice, but how long till it’s empty or the squeegee is stolen.
I like Lowe’s for fixtures and finish goods, but Home Depot is better for construction.
Worst thing that HD ever started doing, it is flipping ridiculous, where I’m there with a trailer sometimes even, getting a couple cart loads of van load … can’t use the loading area because that is ow the private parking for all the (——) types, who buy next to nothing, walk out empty handed etc … meanwhile I’m stuck waiting because oh I would be blocking them from leaving.
One of the top 3 reasons I buy as little as I can at HD.
Sadly now Lowes is copying this crap.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with you, Frank. It is really annoying to see all these pickups parking in the loading zone … nobody actually putting anything in the trucks, just parked in their own princely spot, while I try to push 500 pounds of lumber across the uphill parking lot.
Great points- argue hD vs Lowes( Meyyards, etc.) while Rome burns, age old play. Ie “ie my dad can beat up your dad”… blah blah. While stockholders laugh
When I came back from vacation at the end of February 2020 – after hearing all the dire things about what was going on in Italy – I cancelled some upcoming travel and decided to move some investments into individual stocks that I thought might do OK if we got into some sort of health crisis. I bought a modest amount of Amazon, Home Depot and Lowes and WalMart stock.
I sold off the Amazon on last year’s prime day and did about the same with the Lowes, HD and WalMart stock – before the end of October 2020 . And the winner was Amazon – up 72% – but Lowes wasn’t too shabby (up 64%) with HD not far behind (up 55%) Only WalMart was a laggard (up 19%) – but it still slightly beat the S&P 500 . Meanwhile – given my druthers – I would not shop at any of them – much preferring smaller retailers.
Id also consider holding onto em- I think the pandemic altered how many will purchase items. Ie Amazon stock. It seems like the construction /home improvement market will continue to thrive for sometime, and its so far unrealistic to purchase lumber, certain categories online- however on many measures HD/Lowes are quite impressive. That said, local retailers rock. Few things better than my town’s Ace hardware.
Too late for me on that advice. I thought to take my profits and move the money back into my usual mix of investments (mostly S&P500 and some bond funds). BTW – buying Amazon stock as an individual purchase in a 100 share lot will cost you something like $340,000 at today’s price. Not as bad as buying a 100 “A” shares of Berkshire Hathaway – which is way out of my ranges at over $40 million.
I always chuckle when I see all the anti-Lowes comments, like how Lowes is suddenly copying HD. That’s funny. I won’t get into the consistent problems with HD. YMMV.
Our Lowes have always had a pro desk. These new pro-benefits have me scratching my head. No way people leave their phone out of sight to charge. Conveninece racks. Already there. Windshield wash and air? Mmm ok.
I’m far from a pro but, it makes sense to have pain relief, sun block, etc… at the checkout. You can get phone cables and batteries at every checkout it seams. Why not add some stuff that people actually consume more often or need to replace? While they are at it, add some earplugs and maybe some small packs of nitrile gloves.
The Lowe’s around me (NE Ohio) already all have dedicated trailer/pro parking. None of the Home Depot’s that I can think of do, other than a couple of spots by the lumber area. Maybe they are all older Lowe’s?
Lowe’s could probably make things easier on everyone if they redid their entire checkout area. At the stores by me, it gets really cramped, real quick if you don’t just go to the lumber area to checkout. The quote above about Lowe’s being like Target is an apt description. No space at all if you have a decent load to checkout with. Even before COVID. Now, with social distancing, it’s a disaster, especially on a weekend.
I’m actually surprised at all the Lowes vs HD comments.
I shop at whichever chain has the product I need for the project I’m working on. I’ve had good and bad experiences at each chain but the experiences tend to have more to do with the specific store than the color of the buckets.
As for the ‘pro benefits’… windshield cleaning, phone chargers and tire inflators? That’s adorable.
I got to either one depending on what lumber I need. Can’t buy 12′ 2x12s at home depot because they’re on the bottom rack and that’s annoying to lift out but they’ve got 8′ 2x6s in a nice spot.
If Lowes wants to appeal to Pro’s and knowledgable DIYers start with:
Better quality brands – Lowes seems to get the second rate brands – tools and plumbing fixtures come to mind
Better lumber quality – always disappointed that I have to go to HD most time to get good/defect-free appearance boards and plywood
Stock your stupid lumber racks – numerous times I go to Lowes and they have 2 raggady looking pieces of lumber on the rack (clearly the rejects that no one will pick) and 5 bundles of the same lumber on the high storage racks… how am I supposed to buy? My area HD will have all decent lumber stocked for picking every morning.
Clean your parking lots… Rocks, dirt, trash…
Sorry you have a bad Lowes.
Plenty are head and shoulders above HD.
And inferior brands? Sure. Never mind a lot of things are the exact same with a different SKU
They have some Ideal and Wiha now. I was blown away. Materials are still less quality and twice as high as Menards/Home Depot…and it ain’t as if Menards sets a high standard when it comes to quality
Whoops, I forgot, strangely in my area, Lowes does have really nice looking Douglas Fir and the general dimensional lumber is usually pretty good (extremely good for a home store). Once it gets picked over though…. but that’s the same as all of these home stores. Most of them leave it outside in the dead of winter…
I think this varies by area. When I was in VA for work the lowes seemed to be better stocked and bigger and cleaner then the HD stores. Here in CT they are about the same size HD will have more staff on the floor and lowes will be cleaner with better displays. HD is definitely the one pulling more pros. Lowes gets some and the ones near me do have dedicated pro desks and dedicated parking (that HD does not).
Alot of my neighbors are having work done on their houses this spring, HD is the most common delivery truck followed by one of the local lumber yards for making deliveries I have only seen a lowes branded truck once or twice on our street so far this spring.
Lot’s of neck of the woods. Every neck I’ve been around, Lowes/HD/Menards is what will do when it’s after 4pm and you’re missing something or you broke something. The only other scenario is you owe everyone else money. That said, these stores are pretty great for personal projects, handyman work, maintenance and so forth. Much better than 15-20 years ago. I wouldn’t ever consider them as a supplier.
As a follow up, it dawned on me that, locally, I buy wood from my nearby Woodcraft because their generally high national prices are somewhat lower than the local going rate. And so, maybe people are actually using these Borg stores as suppliers outside of my area for some unknown to me circumstances.
My general and specialty contractor* friends seem to totally agree with you.
I’ve never seen an HD or Lowe’s delivery being made.
They want to support specialty (mostly local) vendors.
*Full time union or equivalent payrolls.
My “Pro” experience with lowes in southern new jersey is terrible. I’m a full time GC. Anytime i have to pick an order up from lowes i DREAD the experience. It takes them FOREVER to find someone to pull an order. I have waited upwards of an hour even after calling ahead to get the product.
I stear all my clients to home depot. Lowes just doesn’t have enough staff IMHO. Again in southern New Jersey.
That’s the experience I’ve had at all of these types of stores in the Midwest. A long time ago when I was working for a contractor, he’d use home stores and make me pick up supposedly ready orders. I’d finally leave the store 3-4 hours later….
They’re a cash and carry retail store and not a supplier. Shamefully, they do market themselves as being able to fill that supplier role, but that’s just craziness.
for me a pro experience would be if they fix the website, fix inventory, fix point of sale, and display consistency in whether my purchases are waiting at customer service or the pro desk.
I’ve twice had their computers crash when I tried to buy something. I never know what counter to pick up small orders at so I have to walk back across the store again. I buy for myself through lowesforpros, for my business and personal through the main page. Even if I have multiple items ordered on the same account through the same portal they may be at different counters.
Why is the inventory at lowes so much worse than at home depot? Do they actually know where anything is or is it mostly guesswork?
I mean I actually do appreciate the peanut M&Ms being conveniently located, that’s what I buy when I’ve walked all over the store and not found what I need.
Here in South west Illinois I prefer HD. Lowes is understaffed and the products offered are bismal .
We have a well stocked ACE in our little town but prices are way higher than the big box stores.
I do however use them for that one part you forgot or didn’t realise you needed.
For true building most buy from a couple of local lumber yards which have nearly any type or size of material you need.
So, getting air or washing my windshield or other types of dollar store sundries at the lowes or HD is not something I care about.
In North East Texas, Home Depot is the name brand and Lowes is the generic in most people’s minds.
Lowes has typically had less parts, less selection, less name brand tools, and cheaper quality items, all while being at higher prices.
That’s all been changing as they are trying to win over us contractors and name brand manufacturers (EGO and the like).
As to their ideas: Free air = great idea.
A phone charging station or windshield cleaning might be nice, but don’t brag about them. That just makes Lowes look like some sort of Millennial hipster, which is NOT what contractors want to be associated with.
Add some perks without fanfare and win over contractors by fulfilling orders quickly, knowledgeable service people, good stocking practices, quality supplies and products, and competitive pricing.
I roll my eyes at all of the promotional nonsense. Yes, it gets attention, so they sort of know what they are doing, but it doesn’t HOLD attention.
Remember, what you win people with, is what you win people to. Win people with gimmicks and that’s what they’ll expect. Win people with quality, and that’s why they’ll return.
Ahh yes these damn millennial hipsters with their ….*checks notes*…. windshield cleaning….
Although I understand your point, in all fairness, if Lowe’s did begin offering these services or amenities that you yourself would prefer, how would you know to try them without them announcing it? Perhaps they lay out a plan for better service, such as dedicated service kiosks through the store. Perhaps they have an incentive program to hire retired contractors, providing more knowledgeable service. In either case, they would likely release a press release similar to this one. Is it this particular content that you find more disagreeable, or the press release themselves? I’m just curious; and I’m not looking to start anything.
Windshield cleaning and charging stations aren’t “services” per say, and only need signs by them. I think most people would recognize them and know what to do. Those kinds of “services” are just little perks, like the Home Depot free coffee.
If they had actual construction services that were new, then great, fanfare the heck out of them, but if it’s just some little “goodies” then they shouldn’t be tooting their horn when most of us are struggling to get decent customer service on our orders.
I’ve never once gotten a medium-large order from Lowes that wasn’t messed up in multiple ways (wrong items, wrong quantities, destroyed goods, etc.).
They can bedazzle the heck out of their wagon, but if the spoke’s broke and the mule’s lame, then maybe they should be focused elsewhere.
Lowes always seems cleaner than Home Depot and you get better service
I have a suggestion for Lowes and what they could do for pros, how about having a store in my county where the pros actually are? I live in the fastest, and only, growing county in Illinois, Kendall. We have houses being built left and right, new construction of all types everywhere. Lowes? Nowhere close. We used to have one in the county and one not far north of it, then they closed them about 10 years ago giving up on the area in the last recession. You can’t get lots of pros if you don’t actually have stores where the pros are in large numbers every day.
How about putting the fasteners next to the lumber? Dowel rod ends next to or near the dowels? Rheostat switches in electrical and not next to bath fans? Thresholds next to the doors…and on and on and on. Lowes is ridiculous.
With better tech and customer service I still have time driving another 10 or 15 minutes farther for home depot. It would be nice to see this improve but lowes seems very far behind
Funny, funny, funny. My local Lowes in Austin, TX got rid of all the higher paid workers who knew anything, reduced registers down to 1 at the Pro end and the self-checkout ones of which all of those aren’t working. Talk about long lines to get out of there. So, how are these Pro enhancements going to help? Lowes is much closer and easier to get to than Home Depot, but their cost cutting is driving me away. You can hardly find any name brands anymore. Don’t tell me that Craftsman is a name brand. It is nowhere near the quality it used to be.
And not only that, they stopped sponsoring Jimmy Johnson of NASCAR!
I’ve been frustrated by the knowledge of the employees at my local Lowe’s as well. The vast majority are clueless, and that’s when you can actually find one. What’s strange is that there are often many employees from a 3rd party company who appear to be in charge of re-arranging merchandise on the shelf and/or stocking duties, yet finding actual lowes employees is quite difficult. This is mindboggling to me–if that work needs to be done, why not have the store employees do it? That way the employees know what the store carries and where to find them, all of which makes for a better customer experience.
My first job as a teenager was a mom-n-pop hardware store. Before too long I was in charge of ordering inventory for one department each week. In my case, tools. I knew darn well how many of what we had in stock, and when more was coming in, because I was the one who was actually checking the stock and ordering. All of the employees knew where everything was because when a truck came in with a shipment each week it was all of us who unpacked the truck, got the merchandise out of the cartons, applied the price stickers, and put it on the shelf. If the Lowes employees aren’t even doing basic work like fronting and restocking merchandise then it’s no wonder they seem to have no clue where things are.
Does Lowe’s have an option like Home Depot Pro account where after scanning my number I can save purchases by job? I’m not looking to use a Lowe’s credit card. I use a regular business credit card. But I really need a breakdown by job name of all purchases and can’t figure out how to do that by Lowe’s. Home Depot makes it easy.