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    Lowes Foods Continues Aggressive Growth

    New and rebranded stores planned

    Lowes Foods plans to continue the aggressive growth strategy it put in place last year, when it rebranded 10 stores and built three new locations, according to a published report.

    "These decisions are important as we continue to invest and build for future growth," Tim Lowe, president of the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based grocer, told the Triad Business Journal. Lowes' latest decisions include a multiple-store move into the Greenville, S.C., market starting next year, the first of as many as four new geographic markets the company intends to enter by 2019.

    The grocer embarked on overhauling its stores after a year-long study entailing 2,500 in-home visits with customers. As a result of that shopper feedback, the chain determined not just to remodel its stores, but to also undertake "a relaunch of a new company," as Lowe told the Business Journal last year.

    A reporter for the Journal described one of the company's revamped Winston-Salem stores as "a bit like walking into a live theater production at Disney World, complete with employees as singing, dancing, smiling performers. Whimsical noises periodically punctuate the air, technical lighting is rigged among the rafters and a cohesive greenhouse theme is seen everywhere from the parking lot to the dairy section."

    Lowes has already rebranded stores in the Winston-Salem and Cary, N.C., markets, begun work in the Hickory market, and may start renovating locations in the Greensboro, N.C., market in the coming year. Along with the planned new stores and remodels, however, the company has revealed that by April 1, it will exit the Gastonia, N.C., market and sell an underperforming store in Cary that closed last year.

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