New NYC Lowe’s locations are small-format, high-tech
The costs and limitations of urban retail space make names like Lowe’s and Home Depot a rare sight within the confines of densely-populated big cities. But Lowe’s is trying to meet the hardware needs of New Yorkers by introducing two new stripped-down, small-format locations in Manhattan.
The two locations, one in Chelsea, which opened on Aug. 31, and one on the Upper West Side, which is slated to have its grand opening on Sept. 10, are about one third the size of an average Lowe’s suburban outlet, according to an article in Fortune. However, their list of purported features indicates that the stores will not have the feel of a cluttered, labyrinthine urban mom-and-pop hardware store either. Lowe’s is doing a distinctly high-tech take on both hardware sales and promotion.
The Charlotte Business Journal reports that Charlotte-based company T1V has installed large interactive touchscreen walls and touchscreen tables in the two Manhattan stores. T1V CEO Mark Feldman told the Journal that the touchscreens provide 3-D views of appliances.
The advertising campaign for the Manhattan Lowe’s outlets has been similarly tech-forward. Last year, Ad Week lauded Lowe’s for using Vine, the popular Twitter-owned short video service, for a series of promotions called "Five in Six." The Vine spots consist of six-second long stop-motion animated home repair tips and "lifehacks." With the opening of the new Manhattan stores, Lowe’s has extended the "Five in Six" campaign from the online world to the physical, with mechanically-driven dioramas in the display windows created to mimic the stop-motion style of the Vine videos.
Both Lowe’s in-store technology and its marketing are in keeping with its other recent moves towards rethinking home improvement sales. Last year, the Lowe’s Innovation Lab rolled out OShbot, an in-store robotic sales assistant, and a 3-D home improvement simulator dubbed a "Holoroom."
The Manhattan stores will necessarily carry less merchandise than traditional Lowe’s outlets and focus on a product selection that caters to smaller urban living spaces. During a walking tour, however, Lowe’s representatives reportedly told Fortune that the company’s omnichannel strategies would allow for merchandise not immediately available at the smaller locations to be shipped to customers.
Lowe’s is also working with new vendors who cater to more urban living situations, such as Space Pro, according to Fortune.
- Lowe’s renovates retail strategy with new Manhattan stores – Fortune
- BBDO and Lowe’s Turn Vines into Manhattan Window Displays – AgencySpy
- Ad of the Day: Lowe’s Rolls Out 8 More Charming and Useful ‘Fix in Six’ Vines – Ad Week
- How a local tech company is helping Lowe’s take Manhattan – Charlotte Business Journal
- Lowe’s new sales help seems a little robotic – RetailWire
Is rolling out small-format, high-tech urban stores a good expansion strategy for Lowe’s? How may Lowe’s be able to reinvent the mom & pop hardware store?