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News Release

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Lowe's Holds 2003 Annual Meeting of Shareholders
           Company to Open 130 Stores in 2003 and 140 Stores in 2004

                 Focus on Metropolitan Market Growth Continues

               Shareholders Re-Elect Three to Board of Directors

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At its annual meeting of shareholders, Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) today discussed the company's record performance in 2002 and outlined its merchandising and marketing initiatives to help the company "raise the bar" in 2003 and beyond.

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"2002 was a breakaway year for Lowe's," said Robert L. Tillman, chairman and CEO. "We achieved a number of major milestones ... record sales and record earnings ... the highest inventory turnover in 20 years ... and became cash flow positive.

"Lowe's also jumped to #60 from #94 on the FORTUNE 500 list, and moved to #7 on Business Week's list of the 50 best-performing companies in the U.S. The Department of Energy named our company its Energy Star Retail Partner of the Year for our commitment to the environment, and FORTUNE named Lowe's the Most Admired Specialty Retailer in America," added Tillman.

President Robert A. Niblock told shareholders how Lowe's "Up the Continuum" merchandising and marketing strategy continues to produce better margins, higher average tickets, and most importantly, more satisfied customers.

"Our core merchandising strategy is based on the principle of winning customers' business -- and their trust and loyalty -- by offering them something different, and something better, than they can get anywhere else," said Niblock. "Up the Continuum is a way for us to capitalize on our superior stores and showcase the premium brands, everyday low prices and the quality merchandise our stores offer."

Niblock also highlighted Store Operations' continued focus on the fundamentals of in-store execution and driving specialty sales initiatives -- Installation Services, Special Order Sales, and the Commercial Business Customer.

"We target these areas because 'do-it-yourself' is clearly giving way to 'do it for me,' and Baby Boomers are turning to professionals ... our commercial customers ... to do a lot of their installation and much of their maintenance," added Niblock.

Niblock noted that installation services produced $1.1 billion in sales for Lowe's in 2002, with a goal to double this business by the end of 2005. In addition, Special Order sales have more than tripled since 1998, and currently represents almost eight percent of the company's total sales volume.

Lowe's Chief Financial Officer Robert F. Hull, Jr. addressed the company's store expansion plans and 2002 financial highlights.

"Lowe's delivered record sales and earnings in 2002 and demonstrated our ability to expand and grow by continuing to focus on our vision of being our customers' first choice for home improvement in each and every market we serve," stated Hull.

Lowe's is on track to open 130 new stores in 2003 and 140 stores in 2004. Hull also noted Lowe's aggressive metropolitan market expansion continues. Sixty-five percent of 2003's new stores will open in major metro markets, including the New York City metropolitan area where Lowe's recently announced plans to invest approximately $1 billion to open more than 60 stores over the next few years.

At the meeting, shareholders re-elected three nominees to Lowe's board of directors: Peter. C. Browning, Dean of the McColl Graduate School of Business at Queens University; Thomas D. O'Malley, Chairman, President and CEO of Premcor Inc., an oil refiner; and Kenneth D. Lewis, Chairman, CEO and President of Bank of America. Each director was elected to a three-year term. Continuing on the board are Leonard L. Berry, Paul Fulton, Dawn E. Hudson, Robert A. Ingram, Richard K. Lochridge, Claudine B. Malone and Robert L. Tillman.

This meeting marked the end of Mr. Bob Schwartz' thirty years of service to Lowe's as a Director. Schwartz is retiring.

"Bob Schwartz has been an important part of Lowe's growth and prosperity over the years," said CEO Bob Tillman. "His wise counsel has proved invaluable. On behalf of our 130,000 Lowe's employees and our shareholders, I salute and thank Bob for his distinguished service."

Also at the meeting, shareholder resolutions concerning Global Workers' Rights Standards and an Independent Director serving as Chairman of the Board were defeated. A shareholder proposal recommending that the Board of Directors redeem the company's Shareholders' Right plan, unless such plan is approved by the shareholders, was adopted.

The board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of two-and-one- half cents (2 1/2 cents) per share, payable on August 1, 2003 to shareholders of record as of July 18, 2003.

Lowe's has paid a cash dividend each quarter since going public in 1961.

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 fiscal year 2002 sales of $26.5 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE 100 company that serves approximately nine million customers a week at more than 875 home improvement stores in 45 states. In 2003, FORTUNE named Lowe's America's Most Admired Specialty Retailer. Based in Wilkesboro, N.C., the 57-year old company is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit .

SOURCE  Lowe's Companies, Inc.
    -0-                             05/30/2003
    /CONTACT:  Shareholders-Analysts, Paul Taaffe, +1-336-658-5239, or media,
Brian Peace, +1-336-658-4170, both of Lowe's Companies, Inc./
    /Photo:  NewsCom:
              AP Archive:
              PRN Photo Desk, 888-776-6555 or 212-782-2840/
    /Web site: /

CO:  Lowe's Companies, Inc.
ST:  North Carolina

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0135 05/30/2003 11:00 EDT