Will Lowe’s customers ‘gift’ their homes for the holidays?

Discussion
Source: “Lowe’s Goes ‘Home’ For The Holidays” spot
Oct 21, 2020
George Anderson

Lowe’s doesn’t plan to stay in its home improvement products lane this holiday season. The retailer will offer free delivery of fresh-cut Christmas trees and promote the sales of air hockey tables, bedding, exercise equipment, small appliances and other products not typically associated with its big box stores.

Lowe’s pitch is that homes have been a place of refuge for Americans under the cloud of the novel coronavirus and now is a perfect time to purchase items that will make staying at home more comfortable and enjoyable since no clear end to the pandemic is in sight.

“Our homes have never been more meaningful to our lives than they have been in 2020,” said Marisa Thalberg, Lowe’s chief brand and marketing officer, in a statement. “Over the past few months, we’ve seen our homes rise, if imperfectly, to meet all that we’ve needed from them. As we approach the holidays, the idea of gifting the home feels especially right. It’s a giving back in a way, but most importantly when you gift your home as a family, it’s a gift you can both give, and enjoy, together.”

Lowe’s like other retailers is looking to get an early start on Christmas, kicking off its “Season of Savings” campaign tomorrow. Beginning on Oct. 30, customers who buy a fresh cut tree from the retailer will get free home delivery with any $45 or higher purchase.

The retailer is looking for the Christmas season to provide a strong close to a year that has seen the chain’s revenues and profits grow significantly as a result of an increased focus on home improvement during the pandemic. Lowe’s posted a 35.1 percent gain in U.S. same-store sales during the second quarter with its digital business jumping 135 percent. Comp sales for the chain were up 12.3 percent during the first quarter

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you expect Americans to “gift” their homes in a big way this holiday season? Is Lowe’s on point with expanding sales of merchandise outside of its core categories, and will free Christmas tree delivery prove a major draw for the chain?

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Braintrust
"One of Lowe’s strengths is sharing holiday decor ideas, so expanding categories and adding new lines, along with the right marketing, will inspire consumers to go big."

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21 Comments on "Will Lowe’s customers ‘gift’ their homes for the holidays?"


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David Naumann
BrainTrust
David Naumann
CEO and President, Cogent Creative Consulting
1 month 9 days ago

Of the new holiday gift ideas noted, the only one that truly makes sense for Lowe’s is the fresh cut trees, which is a logical extension of their garden centers. While broadening its product lines can drive incremental revenues, customers have a lot of options for these items and Lowe’s is not a logical place to look for these items.

Art Suriano
Guest

I think this idea is brilliant, and I commend Lowe’s for their ingenuity. This year retailers have to think out of the box more than ever, and Lowe’s is doing just that. The holidays are going to be very different this year because of COVID-19. Who is afraid to join us for Thanksgiving dinner? Who doesn’t want to come over Christmas Day? All of these new, unprecedented are about to occur and they will harm our holiday spirit. Lowe’s is wise to offer an opportunity for those afraid to go out to enjoy a lovely holiday while staying at home. I see this as being very successful and, probably very soon, a few other retailers will follow.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

Home spending has been elevated over the entirety of this year and I don’t see that slowing down much as we get into the holiday season. I think Lowe’s is smart to focus on home. Its holiday displays look great and are appealing to those who want to buy decorations and trees. There is an opportunity to offer softer home products beyond improvement, and that includes decor, cookware, and so forth. However, an extensive number of retailers already play across all these categories so while I am sure there is some upside from this I see it as an opportunistic play rather than a big strategic move. It will be interesting to see how Lowe’s promotes these ranges to ensure it entices customers while not losing focus on its core categories.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

“Gifting” the home. I don’t even know what that means. LOL. Decorating? If Lowe’s thinks we should go heavy on decorations this year because we are spending more time there then okay, just say that.

I will probably bring more holiday cheer into our home this year because I have the time. And because it’s harder to feel festive when you aren’t sure if you will be able to spend time with friends and family.

One of Lowe’s strengths is sharing holiday decor ideas, so expanding categories and adding new lines, along with the right marketing, will inspire consumers to go big this year.

Paula Rosenblum
BrainTrust

Gifting your home? You mean making the home more pleasant to be in, since you’re stuck there. I think, like most retailers, Lowe’s should stick to its knitting.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

Don’t give them ideas, Paula – they’ll be offering wool and knitting needles next!

Bob Amster
BrainTrust

I bet that sales of those are up, too!

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Craft retailers are killing it!

Bob Amster
BrainTrust

When we combine the boredom and sameness that we have been feeling with the fact we have more time to see what home improvements can be made, there is no question that those with the disposable income (a current problem for many) will purchase items to improve the setting in which they are somewhat stuck. It’s a good idea.

Mohamed Amer
BrainTrust

Spending on the home has been a true growth category in 2020. Lowe’s is making a smart and well thought out move to enhance the home beyond traditional DIY projects. This holiday strategy has the potential to increase its same-store comp numbers and possibly expand their customer base. Post-holiday, Lowe’s must look deeply at the data to fully understand the pros and cons of this strategy and its execution.

Harley Feldman
BrainTrust

Consumers will “gift” their homes more this year due to the pandemic restricting their mobility and causing them to spend more time at home. Lowe’s expansion of products will draw additional revenue since store traffic is up and consumers will be exposed to the new offerings. Delivering Christmas trees is a real bonus to people who don’t want to go out shopping or do not have the ability to move the tree. This service will likely be offered in the future.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
BrainTrust

Tree delivery and items to make the home function better or be more comfortable are great ideas this year. Lowe’s may or may not continue to carry the items but this is a great adaptation to circumstances this year. The more Lowe’s can tie the items in with the idea of the way the items make the home function or look the better it will be for their brand.

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

As with others who have commented on the “Gifting the Home” line I believe Lowe’s jumped the shark with the tagline. Do I think people will want to do more to make their homes seem like the holidays? Yes, assuming they have the funds to do so.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

First of all, call me a Grinch but do we really need more Christmas before Halloween promotions? Okay, that’s out of my system. I do think there is something to the notion of “gifting” the home but, the question is, are consumers going to see Lowe’s as the best retailer to turn to for Christmas trees? This holiday season is going to be a weird one with families being urged by the CDC and NIH to forgo traditional large family meals, fears of COVID-19/flu, the high probability of no or limited stimulus funding, small business closures, etc. In this environment are people going to want to do the family things they can outside — like select their own tree from a lot or cut their own? My guess is yes. Will expansion beyond the core categories boost sales? Sure, some. Will the cost of these programs prove profitable? Tell you in January.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

I have to believe that the current strong trend in home improvement will continue right into the holidays and beyond. My lucky house is getting a refurbished bathroom for Christmas. It’s a humble little abode, so it deserves to be spoiled a little.

Heidi Sax
BrainTrust

Americans have already been gifting their homes in a big way, and–as long as they still have the disposable income–may continue to do so for the holidays.

Lowe’s is smart to expand its merchandise outside core categories. Shoppers are looking to make big one-stop shops, not head to every nearby store. If they see something on Santa’s list during a trip to Lowe’s for firewood, I bet they’ll grab it. At the same time, they could end up with a glut of unsold inventory and confuse their core customer so it’s best to proceed with a discerning eye.

David Weinand
BrainTrust

I’m not too sure about the tagline but, like many retailers, product extensions that make sense from a format perspective are worth testing. As others have stated, investments in the home (as we’re all stuck there) are booming and Lowe’s should have the opportunity to capitalize even more than they have in the past around holidays.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

This is an interesting idea which builds on Lowe’s existing strengths in how their brand is seen. I would be cautious about the depth of this jump, though. An air hockey table is reasonable against the idea of Lowe’s — bedding isn’t.

That said, I wish Lowe’s well with this. It’s rare to see a move this surprising which also mostly makes sense.

Mark Price
BrainTrust

With the news about Covid continuing, it is inevitable that Americans will be spending more time at home these holidays. The increase in time at home gives consumers the chance to look at their home and develop a wish list of how they can improve it. That has been helping Lowe’s in general. It is also reasonable to assume that decorations and home treatments will follow the pattern of home improvement. Free Christmas tree delivery is potentially a strong component of a broader tactic to bring high touch items into the home for consumers this season. Once you set up a home delivery, it is easy to add additional things to the basket.

I think this is a strong strategy for Lowe’s, as long as they do not stray too far away from their home design an improvement position.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

Lowe’s is making a strategic move to become THE store for your home — beyond home improvement projects and into general home goods, using the holidays as a backdrop to tell this expanded brand story. What a great way to differentiate from The Home Depot!

I don’t see the expansion to other categories as being too far off their core categories. Yes, it’s more than home improvement, and that may not be how many customers think of Lowe’s — yet. I see this more as a test for Lowe’s to see how well-received this could be as a long term strategy. Again, if the goal is to be THE destination for outfitting your home, no matter what the area – decor or improvement — this could be the start of something much bigger for Lowe’s.

Rachelle King
BrainTrust

Good for Lowe’s. Nothing and no one is staying in their lane during these times, so it’s a perfect opportunity to expand in a relevant space for their consumers. Because the pandemic does not have an end date, it’s very likely that families will be looking forward to deals during the holiday season to gift their homes with something everyone can enjoy for the foreseeable future. They will need to be competitive but the allure of free delivery with Christmas trees is like icing on the cake … or, icing on the Christmas cookies. Good move, Lowe’s.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"One of Lowe’s strengths is sharing holiday decor ideas, so expanding categories and adding new lines, along with the right marketing, will inspire consumers to go big."

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