Consumers are moving back to large metropolitan areas, and big-box retailers are scrambling to join them. Lowe’s is next in line, with two new stores planned for New York City.
In less than two weeks, Lowe’s will open a store on the corner of Broadway and 68th Street in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, according to The Boston Globe. At 30,000 square feet, the store is about 25 percent of the size of Lowe’s suburban locations, and may be a way for the chain to continue experimenting with how to operate in big cities.
Lowe’s isn’t the first to make its way into the metropolitan scene. Stores such as Target and Wal-Mart have already been testing out micro-sized stores in large urban areas as part of a trend that is expected to continue.
To prepare for opening its first Manhattan store, Lowe’s spent nearly 18 months studying how area residents live and how local contractors and plumbers work. With this research in mind, the retailer designed the store as “a mashup of neighborhood hardware store and a remodeling studio crafted for connected urbanites,” according to The Boston Globe.
The location is new, but Lowe’s already has experience with small-format stores. The retail giant picked up some smaller stores in 2013 with the purchase of Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corp.
The Orchard Supply stores are about 35,000 square feet in size and located in major cities, The Boston Globe explains. From Orchard Supply, Lowe’s has learned lessons such as how to handle product shipments in smaller spaces. Instead of receiving goods on pallets unloaded by forklifts, products are packaged on wheeled carts that are rolled into the store, The Boston Globe article says.
Lowe’s plans to open a second Manhattan location in the neighborhood of Chelsea later this year.