Lowe's anticipating 22-percent sales increase driven by pandemic home improvements
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Lowe’s projected that increased attention to home improvement during the coronavirus pandemic boosted its sales about 22 percent in fiscal 2020.

The hardware retailer said this includes an expected 23 percent increase in same-store sales, according to CNBC. CEO Marvin Ellison at an investor meeting also reportedly credited the company’s improvements to online shopping and the addition of options such as in-store lockers and curbside pickups.

“Our commitment to retail fundamentals has been essential to our 2020 financial success,” Ellison said, according to the network. “Our supply chain, in-store and digital systems would have collapsed under the weight of the unprecedented customer demand created by the pandemic without this focus.”

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He added that the company will expand its online-only options in 2021, adding home décor, and customize in-store products to ensure that, for example, snowblowers do not take up shelf space in hotter locales.

“2020 was a pivotal year for the company,” Chief Financial Officer Dave Denton said, according to CNBC. “We are taking market share earlier than we expected and we are making the right investments for future growth.”

The announcement comes in sharp contrast to just over a year ago, when the hardware chain announced it would lay off thousands of employees. In 2018, the company shuttered 47 American and Canadian locations as a cost-cutting measure.

Ellison noted in the meeting that the company has significantly improved its e-commerce operations in particular since 2018, when its website crashed on Black Friday.