From chicken coops to ATVs: Lowe’s turning to rural stores to grow its bottom line

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe’s Cos. Inc. is putting the focus on its rural stores as it looks to grow sales per square foot and increase market share.

The Mooresville-based home-improvement retailer has expanded product offerings, piloting farm, ranch and outdoor products in some markets.

It plans to scale that rural model to as many as 300 additional stores by year-end in the South, Midwest and Northeast.

The goal is to help customers get what they need in one shopping trip, says Bill Boltz, executive vice president of merchandising at Lowe’s.

Think everything from livestock feed, fencing, ATVs and trailers to Carhartt and Wrangler apparel. The merchandising additions aim to meet customer’s unique needs — particularly those who work and play outdoors, he says.

This is a natural opportunity for Lowe’s and stands to simplify the shopping experience for customers, the company says.

Rural stores will see their product mix adjusted to fit the market, with some offerings removed.

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