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Lowe's Companies, Inc. also known as Lowe's, is the second-largest hardware chain in the United States. It specializes in home improvement supplies. Its first store was opened in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina in 1921 by Lucius Smith Lowe. In 1940, Smith Lowe passed away and his daughter Ruth Lowe inherited her father’s business. Later in the same year, she decided to sell the company to her brother Jim Lowe. Later, Jim Lowe took on Carl Buchan as a partner in 1943. After World War II, there was a dramatic increase in construction, therefore the business was focused mainly on hardware and building materials. In 1949, Lowe’s started its second location in Sparta, North Carolina.
After many successful years of business, Jim Lowe and Carl Buchan had different ideas about expanding the company to new areas. So, they agreed to split in 1952. Buchan took control of the hardware supply business and became the sole owner of Lowe’s. By 1955, the company grew by opening stores in North Carolina, and many other stores were opened during the 1950s. After Buchan passed away in 1961, his executive team took over the company. By 1962, Lowe's operated 21 stores and had annual revenues of $32 million. Lowe's entered the New York Stock Exchange in 1979. In the 1980s Lowe’s adopted the big-box format in order to keep up with its competitors. Today, most Lowe's stores are big-box style, but some of its classic format stores still remain in
Today, it is headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina and it employs nearly 300,000 people in North America.