Ellison shaking things up at Lowe’s
It didn’t take long for Lowe’s new president and CEO, Marvin Ellison, to begin shaking things up at the home improvement chain.
Mr. Ellison, who joined Lowe’s on July 2, having moved over from J.C. Penney where he was chairman and CEO, announced a new organizational structure in the company’s c-suite with the elimination of the chief operating officer, chief customer officer, corporate administration executive and chief development officer positions. A number of new positions will be added, including EVP, stores and EVP, supply chain.
As to the why behind the changes, Mr. Ellison said, “We have taken a fresh look at our organizational structure and are realigning our leadership team to improve our focus, better leverage Lowe’s omnichannel capabilities and deliver increased value for our customers, associates and shareholders.”
Mr. Ellison also took steps to bring his own team on board when he became CEO of Penney in 2015 with an emphasis on building the department store’s omnichannel infrastructure with executive recruits from Home Depot and Target. Mr. Ellison was criticized for not closing stores quickly enough at the underperforming department store chain. He pushed back, insisting that stores were not only sales producers themselves, but that they directly affected Penney’s e-commerce business, as well.
Many analysts and retail industry watchers see Mr. Ellison as a good fit for Lowe’s. He spent many years at Home Depot, most recently as vice president of U.S. stores, before he moved to Penney in 2014.
Mr. Ellison takes over a chain that has seen its growth lag behind Home Depot in recent years. Lowe’s reported a 0.5 percent increase in same-store sales during the first quarter, while Home Depot’s comp number improved 3.9 percent.
Earlier this year, Lowe’s reported that traffic in its stores had increased, but that customers were purchasing lower-margin goods. Costs associated with advertising and home delivery served as a further drag on the chain’s bottom line.
- Lowe’s Realigns Leadership Structure To Drive Operational Excellence – Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
- Lowe’s Reports First Quarter Sales And Earnings Results – Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
- The Home Depot Announces First Quarter Results; Reaffirms Fiscal Year 2018 Guidance – The Home Depot
- Why does Lowe’s seem to have a problem turning shoppers into customers? – RetailWire
- Penney hires Home Depot and Target execs for omnichannel push – RetailWire
- Penney CEO says stores critical to omnichannel push – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will his previous experience at Home Depot help Marvin Ellison develop a strategy to compete more effectively against Lowe’s larger rival? What would you advise Marvin Ellison to do with Lowe’s, if asked?