Lowe's to lay off thousands, shift responsibilities of other workers
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14 posts in this topic

This doesn't seem good.

 

Quote

Home-improvement retail giant Lowe's is laying off thousands of workers and shuffling the responsibilities of many more.

A source tells The Wall Street Journal less than 1 percent of the retailer's workforce will be cut, fewer than 3,000 of its roughly 285,000 employees. Other workers will see their roles change from handling “back-of-house responsibilities and activities to customer-facing ones."

“We’ve got to make sure that as the consumer is changing the ways they engage with us, we continue to be nimble,” Lowe’s Chief Executive Robert Niblock told the Journal in November, after the North Carolina-based company lowered its profit outlook for the year.

 
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http://www.wtae.com/article/lowes-to-lay-off-thousands-shift-responsibilities-of-other-workers/8595879

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I am sure you heard the reports over the holidays about how online shopping trounced brick and mortar sales.
Online sales were up 17% over last year. That is a huge jump.

No doubt that trend will continue.

I look for Sears to fall on the sword soon and call it quits, at least in the physical presence. They may have a
chance as a online retailer if they drop their huge retail stores and go back to the small catalog pickup stores
that they (and JC Penny) phased out 25 years ago.

With supermarkets getting into the game we are looking at a total rewrite of the retail establishment from what
we grew up with. As cost-cutting keeps driving how companies operate and competition forces them to reinvent
the wheel over and over jobs are going to get cut and more and more automation will take the place of people
sad to say. If supermarkets could eliminate all customer shopping and limit them to just picking up their order
at the store or taking home delivery imagine how operations could be streamlined. All those working the registers
would be packing orders and delivering those orders or handing them to consumers over the counter. No longer
would consumers wander the stores looking for this or that. Impulse buys would be eliminated but I think the efficiency
of the operation would make up for that and more. A store could be 25% smaller and still hold the same amount of product
because you wouldn't need wide isles for two-way shopping cart traffic or check out isles.

Wait, in 5 years it will be totally different from what you know now.

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21 hours ago, sparc said:

No longer would consumers wander the stores looking for this or that. Impulse buys would be eliminated but I think the efficiency
of the operation would make up for that and more.

Well then how am I to overspend because I dared go to the grocery hungry?!  lol ALL the racks are impulse racks for me on those days :)  

Big Box Stores felt convenient at first but compared with online shopping they're a pain in the hiney anymore.  I could foresee a return to the small mom-and-pop shop coming rather than a total upheaval.  I myself have begun going to the corner drug store whenever possible even if what I'm getting is cheaper elsewhere.  I can park by the door to pop in and pop out with quick ease.  I can't hardly stand going to Walmart anymore because it's as if the shoppers there either hate it as much as I do or feel somehow more entitled than anyone else to be there.  I recently had a woman make a rude comment just because I was shopping for something in front of what she wanted; she waited literally two seconds and then chose to be rude rather than simply say "excuse me".  Perhaps online shopping is affecting people in more ways than just where we shop... we have a whole new generation already grown that has zero patience when dealing with real people.

Lowes hasn't gotten on my "avoid" list yet.  For some reason even if the parking lot is full the store never feels like it's crawling with people.  That said the much smaller Ace up the road would do well for most of my needs, except I'm still determined their selection is smaller even though it's probably just the smaller aisles making me think that.

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18 hours ago, Soozicle1 said:

That said the much smaller Ace up the road would do well for most of my needs, except I'm still determined their selection is smaller even though it's probably just the smaller aisles making me think that.

For me if I need something specific or odd, forgot Lowes, they won't have it but Ace will. Even if you think it's something fairly common. My last example, I needed a M10x1.25 tap, I went to Lowes, where they had all of maybe 5 metric taps on the shelf (none of which were M10x1.25). Ace had a whole selection even despite being a much smaller store. Yeah if you want a selection of lamps or lumber Lowes is going to have a better selection, but if you need a little o-ring, tool, screw, nut or bolt, or helpful employee (<--ok that one isn't always true) those smaller hardware stores are generally still the place to go. 

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For me if I need something specific or odd, forgot Lowes, they won't have it but Ace will. Even if you think it's something fairly common. My last example, I needed a M10x1.25 tap, I went to Lowes, where they had all of maybe 5 metric taps on the shelf (none of which were M10x1.25). Ace had a whole selection even despite being a much smaller store. Yeah if you want a selection of lamps or lumber Lowes is going to have a better selection, but if you need a little o-ring, tool, screw, nut or bolt, or helpful employee (

Unfortunately you're correct. And they're probably going to be cheaper as well.



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39 minutes ago, OhioYJ said:

For me if I need something specific or odd, forgot Lowes, they won't have it but Ace will. Even if you think it's something fairly common. My last example, I needed a M10x1.25 tap, I went to Lowes, where they had all of maybe 5 metric taps on the shelf (none of which were M10x1.25). Ace had a whole selection even despite being a much smaller store. Yeah if you want a selection of lamps or lumber Lowes is going to have a better selection, but if you need a little o-ring, tool, screw, nut or bolt, or helpful employee (<--ok that one isn't always true) those smaller hardware stores are generally still the place to go. 

I've worked at a family owned electrical and plumbing supply house for nearly 20 years now. I started hanging display light fixtures when I was in high school, then I worked the contract sales counter during the day while I worked on my associates in information systems at night, and rolled into the position of being their "IT GUY". I know exactly what you mean about the selection at "mom and pops" stores. Employees from Lowes and Home Depot often send customers here for things you would THINK they would have. Of course, we also have a lot of specialty and hard to find items as well. It seems like people who do not shop with us have this notion that we are more expensive than the box stores. Occasionally we are a little higher on items that Lowes buys by the millions, but when you have a project you'll often find that the total bill will be lower here because we are considerably less expensive with a lot of the items you don't think to price shop. For this reason, we have the business of most of the electricians, plumbers, and builders in the area. The biggest challenge our company has is to ride that line between the growth of the company and operating with the "mom and pops" mindset, and dealing with the mixed retail and distribution model. We have 2 hardware stores, 2 showrooms, and 2 contract sales counters spread across 3 cities in our county. We buy from over 1500 vendors and there are over 3,000 customer accounts in our system (I'm not sure how many of these are active), however we know that customer service makes or breaks a company and try to hide our size and complexity from the customer.
Despite all this, most of the community still sees us as a "little hardware store", which isn't necessarily a bad thing. As these boxed stores are scaling back, our company is growing and thriving.

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1 hour ago, ralph7up said:

Please help me with this.  How does is relate to the topic, " Lowe's to lay off thousands, shift responsibilities of other workers".

Poor management and selection of products has resulted in customers going elsewhere to get what they needed, which resulted in them having to layoff workers? Which still sucks, no one likes to read about people losing their jobs.

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2 hours ago, ralph7up said:

Please help me with this.  How does is relate to the topic, " Lowe's to lay off thousands, shift responsibilities of other workers".

 

3 hours ago, Smitho said:

 Employees from Lowes and Home Depot often send customers here for things you would THINK they would have. 

 

3 hours ago, Smitho said:

however we know that customer service makes or breaks a company 

 

3 hours ago, Smitho said:

As these boxed stores are scaling back, our company is growing and thriving.


To keep from looking spammy or promotional, and stay on topic, I didn't even mention the business name or link to our website or anything.
Just providing personal experience that I thought contributed to the discussion here.
Sorry if I was "out of line"...

 

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Basically, a lot of the discussion here has implied that online purchasing has been a major contributor to these large retailers "tightening their belts".
I don't think that has to be the case from my experience. There are smaller companies that provide good customer service and have a healthy selection of products which are faring just fine.
Not only are they "not scaling back", but they are actually expanding and growing... and I know of at least one company that is doing this without ANY e-commerce contributing to their revenue. (I won't say whether I am affiliated with the company I am referencing for fear of being reprimanded)

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Can't say I am surprised by this. For many years I preferred to buy at Lowe's even though I could often get the same thing at HD a little cheaper. But I did this because their customer support was great. The few times I had a problem they bent over backwards to help out. But recently I have noticed this is no longer the case and figured they might be tightening up. I recently purchased a large bulky item (assembled cabinet) that required borrowing a neighbors truck to get. When I got it home I found it was damaged. Since my neighbor was moving I didn't want to bother them so I reached out to Lowe's to see if there was anything they could do. They confirmed the other one in stock was damaged and offered me a a few screws and and a 1x1 to hold the cabinet together. Not really what I expected from past experiences. We are planning to do our kitchen soon and I can say with assurance Lowe's won't be an option for us.

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