Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Lowe's Companies, Inc

by Lisa Brantley Kobrin, 2006

A Lowe's store under construction in Charlotte, N.C., 2008. Image from Flickr user  Willamor Media/James Willamor.Lowe's Companies, Inc., headquartered in Mooresville, is a North Carolina-based building supply and home improvement firm that has grown into one of the nation's largest retailers. Lowe's was founded in 1921 in North Wilkesboro by I. S. Lowe as a single hardware store. Lowe soon brought his son and a son-in-law, Carl Buchan, into the business. Buchan became sole owner of Lowe's in 1952 and oversaw its expansion to a chain of 15 stores by 1960. Lowe's experienced rapid growth in the 1960s and 1970s, becoming a publicly held company beginning in 1961 after Buchan's death. At about the same time, a profit-sharing plan was instituted for employees. In 1979 Lowe's was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

From 1999 to 2009, Lowe's bought the naming rights to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, naming it the Lowe's Motor Speedway. Image from Flickr user Dave Reid/daveried2.. During its early years, Lowe's sold its products mainly to professional contractors, and its store design resembled that of small local hardware stores. When Robert Strickland became chairman of the company in 1978, he implemented a marketing plan to target do-it-yourself homeowners. By the mid-1980s, following a national trend, more than one-half of Lowe's sales were to nonprofessionals in the general public. Competing with Atlanta-based Home Depot, Lowe's stores became huge, warehouse-style buildings. The company's product line was also expanded beyond its large tool and building supply inventory to include appliances, home decorations, and garden products. By 2006 Lowe's was the nation's second-largest home improvement retailer behind Home Depot, with more than $43 billion in sales and 1,250 stores in 49 states.

Additional Resources:

Lowe's Companies, Inc. official website:

Herring, Leonard and McIntyre, Deni. "Lowe’s goes public: Leonard Herring recalls all the wheeling and dealing revolving around the company’s IPO." Business North Carolina. May 2009.

Image Credits:

"Southend, Charlotte: Urban Lowe's Home Improvement store." May 4, 2008. Image from Flickr user Willamor Media/James Willamor. (accessed October 25, 2012).

"Lowe's Motor Speedway." October 14, 2007. Image from Flickr user Dave Reid/daveried2. (accessed October 25, 2012).

Origin - location: 



I want the person in charge of this company to call me. I ordered a bathroom vanity w/ sink online, took 2 weeks to get it. Installed cabinet in bathroom and noticed the sink faucet hole was not level and will cause the faucet to leak and lean forward into the sink, obviously no quality check here. I called Lowe’s 9/18 and was told someone would call back Monday. I received the call on Monday as promised and explained what was wrong with the sink, she apologized and said she will send someone to pick it up on Thursday 9/24. She also said I would get a 100% refund on my credit card including delivery costs. I went to the Lowe’s in Fairview Heights IL the other day to get a vanity, which I did and that experience was infuriating. I called the store this morning to confirm the pick up, Stephanie is who I talked to, said she’d investigate and call me back. No call as of 2:30pm. I called her back and she said there is no scheduled pick up for today. MORE infuriating.... what a disgusting way to treat customers, taking their money and not giving a crap about refunding for cheap China made products. Who suffers?........ the customer, just so top management can take all the money in their pockets while they hire people to work their stores who are incapable of helping you. I’m done with Lowe’s and HD and WalMart.... I’ll do without before I support any of this crap. And don’t blame COVID- blame the owners. So have the CEO email me.


Are you serious? LOLOLOLOLOL



This is an encyclopedia entry about the company that originated in North Carolina. Please go to the company website at

Erin Brradford, Government and Heritage Library


I've been a Lowe's customer for decades but will not be much longer. My home in Northern CA
burned down and when I tried to return merchandise I purchased @ Lowe's , after making me wait on line for over 45 minutes they told me they refused to return the merchandise- even for store credit - without a receipt. I asked them to call the CEO of Lowe's, who I now know to be Marvin Ellison, but they refused to even give me his name. His phone number is not easily found on line and I am visually impaired- get Talking Books for the Blind; am 73 years old and despite my extenuating circumstances, the refused to issue me a refund. I left the merchandise with them. This store and all its chains must be shut down. They treat customers dispicably. They kept me waiting an addional 1/2 hour ostensibly waiting for a manager whose name is Onjunee and who refused me even store credit without a receipt. Home Depot has never treated me this dispicably. The store was on Sommersville Rd. in Antioch CA. I think Me. Ellison owes me an apology as well as a refund. Is he going to be held accountable?



Thank you for sharing your experience. To let you know, this is an encyclopedia article about Lowe's rather than the actually site. If you want file a complaint with the company, I suggest you go to their website at

Erin Bradford, Governement and Heritage Library


Who is the actual owner of Lowe's? I started reading this and now I'm very interested and I don't have the answer. LOL!


The shareholders own Lowe’s. This is an encyclopedia page.


I'm still waiting for the answer too!!



Thank you for commenting on this NCpedia article about Lowe's. Lowe's Companies is a publicly owned company that is listed on the NYSE since 1979 (

Shareholders purchase stock on the NYSE as an investment. Here is a link to the Investor Fact Sheet (

I hope this helps you with your question. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Francesca Evans, Government & Heritage Library



I am sending your comment to the reference librarians at our library to assist you. 

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library

Add a comment

PLEASE NOTE: NCpedia provides the comments feature as a way for viewers to engage with the resources. Comments are not published until reviewed by NCpedia editors at the State Library of NC, and the editors reserve the right to not publish any comment submitted that is considered inappropriate for this resource. NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. If you would like a reply by email, note that some email servers, such as public school accounts, are blocked from accepting messages from outside email servers or domains. If you prefer not to leave an email address, check back at your NCpedia comment for a reply. Please allow one business day for replies from NCpedia. Complete guidelines are available at