Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) ticked lower Tuesday despite reiterating its earlier fiscal 2010 sales and earnings forecast, and announcing plans to reveal strategic initiatives intended to meet rising customer expectations.
The home improvement chain sees earnings in a range of $1.37 to $1.40 a share on sales growth of 3% to 4%. For the full-year, Lowe’s expects to open 42 stores and anticipates comparable store sales growth of 1% to 2%.
However, in a statement prior to its annual analyst and investor conference, the company said an uncertain housing environment over the past few years and a “declining industry,” coupled with rising customer expectations, has led the retailer to evaluate strategic initiatives.
“To be successful in the future, we must find ways to deliver better experiences, and that requires an enhanced promise to customers about what Lowe’s can provide as a home improvement company,” Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chief executive, said in statement.
At Tuesday’s conference, Lowe’s executives are expected to discuss with investors and analysts longer-term opportunities to drive performance. No details of the initiatives were revealed prior to the meeting.
“In no way are we stepping away from the retail operations that are the foundation of our success, but we recognize that the store experience alone is not enough for customers today,” Niblock said.
Gregory M. Bridgeford, the company’s executive vice president of business development, said the company “will not be satisfied” just holding its position as a “big box home improvement retailer.
Instead, he said, the company needs to define its future, “focused on serving the evolving needs of consumers.”