< View Todays Articles 05.09.2012

Fewer stores, more digital shoppers

For the top executive of a major home improvements chain with nearly 1,800 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Lowe’s Cos. Inc. CEO Robert Niblock spends a lot of time talking about e-commerce these days. And with good reason.
In 2011 online sales for Lowe’s, No. 47 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, grew year over year 70%, while comparable-store sales for the chain’s bricks-and-mortar loca­tions were flat. Last year the web was the fastest-growing channel for Lowe’s, with online sales that reached an Internet Retailer-estimated $510 million from $300 million in 2010. In comparison, total sales increased about 2.9% to $50.20 billion from $48.81 billion in 2011
To grow its web business in 2011 and going forward, Lowe’s made several improvements to its e-commerce site, including rolling out MyLowes.com, a new interac­tive suite of tools that gives shoppers more customized ways to create and store room designs, check out avail­able inventory across stores and the web, and create and store folders and lists to organize products, projects and ideas.

Lowe’s has big plans in mind for e-commerce, and it’s hardly alone among the largest chain retailers ranked . That’s because consumers increas­ingly see less need to hit shopping malls and physical stores as they shift more of their shopping online, use more Internet-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets to check prices and buy, and cull product information and opinions from social media channels such as Facebook.

Full Article: http://www.internetretailer.com/2012/05/08/fewer-stores-more-digital-shoppers click here
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