Mooresville, N.C. An executive at Lowe's Cos. said the chain hopes to expand its U.S. operations to include 2,400 sites, although it could take a decade, the Associated Press reported. The remarks were made by Larry Stone, Lowe’s president and COO, at the Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference on Wednesday.
Lowe’s now operates about 1,650 stores in the United States.
The chain, which added 115 stores in 2008, plans to scale openings back in 2009, adding 60 to 70 stores, including some in Canada and Mexico.
"Most of the expansion this year is going to be in the small- to mid-size markets," Stone said. "We still think there is tremendous opportunity in the larger metro markets. But quite frankly, based on economic conditions in a lot of those metro areas, there is just no way right now you can justify the new store and the cannibalization it has on the existing stores in the market, because they are all reeling from the housing pressures and all of the other pressures in the market."
Stone added that the company ultimately expects to open about 100 stores in Canada, a figure he said might take up to seven years to reach.
Lowe's, which opened its first Canadian stores in late 2007, now has about a dozen there.
"The customers have received us extremely well, and we are very pleased with our performance in Canada the first year of operation," Stone said