Lowe's Consolidates Operations

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Mooresville, N.C. - Lowe's has eliminated a number of merchandising and regional divisions to improve efficiencies, increase speed to market for new products and services, and enhance the customer shopping experience, No. 2 appliance chain said.

The consolidation, which includes the departures of four senior VPs, follows a lackluster second quarter in which its performance trailed home-improvement rival The Home Depot.

Under the new structure the company's four merchandising divisions have been collapsed into two: a kitchen, bath and home décor products unit, which includes major appliances; and a building and outdoor products division. The former is led by one-time appliance merchandising VP Clint Davis, and the latter is headed by Troy Dally. Both retain their senior VP/general merchandise manager titles and report to merchandising executive VP Robert Gfeller, Jr.

As a result of the changes, Patricia Price, previously senior VP/general merchandise manager of home décor, has left the company, while her counterpart in outdoor living, Eric Sowder, will retire on Sept. 9.

In addition, Lowe's has cut its store operations divisions down to three core  geographic areas -- North, South and West -- and has reduced its regional operations from 21 to 14 offices "to ensure greater consistency and efficiency," the company said.

Three operations senior VPs -- Bill Edwards, South division; Jim Frasso, North division; and  Brent Kirby, West division -- now report to store operations executive VP Rick Damron, while former operations senior VPs Theresa Anderson and Robert Wagner have left the company.

In a joint statement, Damron and Gfeller said, "This new organizational structure reflects the company's future direction to better serve customers whenever and however they wish to shop with us. These leaders are well positioned to take on new and challenging roles to help lead our company forward."


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