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Lowe's Holds 2002 Analyst and Investor Conference
WILKESBORO, N.C., Sep 27, 2002 /PRNewsire-FirstCall via Comtex/ --

Company Announces Plans for 140 Stores in 2004

Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), will tell analysts and investors today in Boston at its annual conference that the company remains optimistic about its current prospects for the future.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000720/LOWES )

"Demographic and societal trends we see across the country give us confidence that the success we enjoy today will continue for the next decade and beyond as consumers focus more on their homes and families," said Robert L. Tillman, chairman and CEO. "While we continue to see mixed economic signals, based on broad-based strength in home improvement spending, we believe Americans will remain willing to invest in their homes to derive both current enjoyment and the potential for longer-term appreciation."

Lowe's plans to continue to grow its store base by adding 130 stores (including four relocations) in fiscal 2003 and approximately 140 stores (including two relocations) in fiscal 2004.

"Driven by the continued success of our store expansion, as well as several internal sales and efficiency initiatives, we expect to increase revenue by 18 to 19 percent annually, and grow earnings per share by 19 to 20 percent annually over the next two years," explained Robert A. Niblock, executive vice president and CFO. "Our third quarter comparable store sales continue to track within our guidance of three to five percent. As a result, we are comfortable with the upper end of the earnings per share guidance of $0.39 to $0.40 for the third quarter and $1.74 to $1.75 for the 2002 fiscal year, as stated in our August 19 earnings release."

Lowe's executives focused on the company's store operations, technology and merchandising initiatives as key to continually improving customers' shopping experience. Highlights of those presentations include:

    *  Larry D. Stone, Lowe's executive vice president of store operations:
    "We've challenged our store employees to focus on the fundamentals of
    retailing to deliver constantly-improving service and drive efficiency.
    We have given our stores clear direction to do what it takes to make
    Lowe's our customers' first choice for home improvement."

    *  Nick Canter, senior vice president of store operations-northern
       division:
    "Our stores in northeast metropolitan markets, including Boston and the
    greater New York City area, continue to perform very well and currently
    lead the company in average ticket, volume per store and customer count.
    And, these stores are continuing to grow."

    *  Thomas E. Whiddon, executive vice president of logistics and
       technology:
    "Lowe's information warehouse provides a clear competitive advantage.
    With over ten years of data collection and millions of dollars invested in
    this endeavor, Lowe's information warehouse provides a central repository
    for data that helps the company make strategic, fact-based decisions to
    ensure our continued success.  In addition, our award-winning customer
    relationship management database allows for cost-effective targeting of
    current and potential customers with information that's relevant to them."

    *  Dale C. Pond, executive vice president of merchandising:
    "Lowe's successful up-the-continuum merchandising strategy continues to
    differentiate Lowe's from the competition.  Our line review process keeps
    our in-store merchandising displays fresh to inspire customers to improve
    and maintain their homes for greater enjoyment.  Through strategic
    alliances with our vendors, we continue to provide our customers with an
    increasing assortment of well-known, high-value national brands."

    *  Theresa A. Anderson, senior vice president of merchandising sales and
       service:
    "Based on improvements in efficiency and service, we expect to triple our
    special order business by 2006.  In addition, growth in our global
    sourcing operations will allow us to continue to provide our customers
    great prices and tremendous value while, at the same time, improving gross
    margin."

    *  Robert J. Gfeller, senior vice president of marketing:
    "Our goal is to show how Lowe's delivers value to consumers in markets
    across the country.  At the core of this value proposition is our
    commitment to everyday low prices where customers are assured they are
    receiving the best price and value every day, guaranteed."

    *  Gregory M. Bridgeford, senior vice president of business development:
    "Our focus on the customer will chart our growth for years to come, and in
    addition to expanding to new markets around the country, we will leverage
    our base of over 800 existing stores and more than 100,000 employees to
    better serve our existing markets."
Lowe's fiscal third quarter ends on November 1, 2002 with operating results to be publicly released on Monday, November 18, 2002.

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. Although the company believes that comments reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Possible risks and uncertainties regarding these statements include, but are not limited to, the direction of general economic conditions, the availability of real estate for expansion and its successful development, particularly in major metropolitan markets, the availability of sufficient labor to facilitate growth, fluctuations in prices and availability of product, unanticipated impact of competition, legal or regulatory developments, and weather conditions that affect sales.

With 2001 sales of $22.1 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc is a Fortune 100 company that serves more than seven million customers a week at more than 800 home improvement stores in 43 states. The 14th largest retailer in the nation, Wilkesboro, NC-based Lowe's is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

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SOURCE Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Photo    : NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000720/LOWES
CONTACT:          media, Chris Ahearn, +1-336-658-7387, or shareholders and
                  analysts, Paul Taaffe, +1-336-658-7387, both of Lowe's Companies, Inc.

URL:              http://www.prnewswire.com
                  http://www.lowes.com
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