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Lowe's to Sharpen Edge, Hiring of 65,000 Associates on Cards

Lowe's Companies, Inc. LOW is focused on improving its retail business and simplifying operations. To this end, the company is undertaking strategic endeavors and making meaningful investments in core areas. The company is intensifying customer engagement through improved personalized marketing and digital promotions. We note that in order to improve customer service this home improvement retailer plans to deploy more than 65,000 associates this year.

Management intends to hire more than 50,000 seasonal workers, approximately 10,000 permanent associates, and nearly 6,000 full-time assistant store managers and department supervisors. Further, the company will appoint 2,000 employees for technology roles.

In the recent past, Lowe's has chalked out a detailed plan to augment sales, contain costs and improve cash flow generation from operations. In order to achieve these goals, the company plans to have better customer-centric approach and capture market opportunities via merchandising efforts and omni-channel endeavors.

Lowe’s intends to focus more on prospective areas such as home improvements, home furnishing products, repair and maintenance. To facilitate exterior projects customers, the company will also continue to offer interior installation like countertops, flooring and cabinets along with its Project Specialist Exteriors plan. These endeavors will enable the company to compete efficiently with Home Depot HD and Amazon AMZN.

Further, the company is streamlining store portfolio, which along with its strategy of enhancing customer shopping experience with advanced technology and inventory rationalizing, is likely to generate incremental sales. There lies a significant opportunity to enhance pro-sales. Lowe’s has set long-term operating margin target of 12% and return on invested capital goal of 35%. It plans to invest $500-$550 million annually through 2021 to bolster digital initiatives.

In one month, shares of this company have increased 5% against the industry’s and S&P 500 index’s decline of 1% and 3.6%, respectively.

Lowe’s, which shares space with Lumber Liquidators Holdings LL, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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