When compared to Walmart and the Walton family, Lowe’s is independently owned. To put it another way, Lowe’s Companies Inc. is a publicly traded firm with no single, controlling ownership. In 2020, The Vanguard Group Inc. held the greatest share of Lowe’s stock. At roughly 8.5 percent of all equity, however, they possessed far less than a controlling holding in the corporation.
While Lowe’s today is a Fortune 50 corporation and the world’s second-largest home improvement retailer and the eighth-largest retailer overall in the United States, it wasn’t always such a mammoth. H. Carl Buchan and his brother-in-law established the North Wilkesboro Hardware Company in that city. To take advantage of the post-war building boom, Buchan bought out his brother-in-stake law’s in the company and devised a strategy of dealing directly with manufacturers rather than wholesalers. In 1961, Buchan went public and began expanding its retail footprint across the state of North Carolina. By 1979, it was trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
During those decades, the majority of Lowe’s customers were construction businesses. While the company hit more than a billion dollars in sales in 1982, it wasn’t until it moved to selling materials to do-it-yourself homeowners that commerce truly began to thrive. By 1994, all new Lowe’s stores were at least 85,000 square feet to allow an assortment to suit such customers’ needs. Today, the chain operates over 1,700 outlets in the US and another 250 in Canada. Lowe’s stocks roughly 40,000 products in its stores and makes hundreds of thousands more available by special order.
Sam Walton opened his first “five-and-dime,” named Walton’s, in Newport, Arkansas, as a Benjamin Franklin franchise. He theorised that even in low-population areas (less than 5,000 people), it was possible to turn a profit, and perhaps even increase earnings, by selling things with the slimmest of margins. He used this formula to open 14 businesses between 1945 and 1962. Ben Franklin was not persuaded, so Sam Walton went out on his own and opened the first Walmart. Walton’s business in Arkansas had been so profitable by 1968 that he decided to branch out into neighbouring states like Oklahoma and Missouri.
In 1969, Walmart became public, and in 1972, its stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. By 1976, the Wal-Mart network had expanded into five new states (Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi) and Walton had shut down his remaining five-and-dime stores to devote his whole attention to his new venture. In 1978, Walmart launched the pharmacy, automotive, and jewellery services familiar to modern customers by acquiring smaller competitors. Faster than any other corporation, it reached $1 billion in profits in just 18 years. The first Walmart SuperCenter debuted in 1988, and in 1991, Mexico became the site of the world’s first Walmart location outside the United States. Five years after Sam Walton’s death, in 1997, Walmart overtook all other private companies in the United States as the largest in revenue. Only 3 years later, it surpassed every other private company as the world’s greatest employment.
Owned by Walmart
Although Walmart does not own Lowe’s, it does own a number of other well-known brands. Bonobos, an online clothing shop, and Moosejaw, an online and offline outdoor retailer, are both now owned by Walmart. Jet.com, an e-commerce site, was acquired by Walmart and folded into its own online store; yet, although being owned by Walmart, Shoes.com continues to operate independently. In 2017, the firm acquired Parcel, a package delivery service, marking a significant expansion into this market.