Lowe's fixed a crucial flaw, and it's now one of the brightest spots in its business

Scott Olson/Getty ImagesIt’s not all bad news for Lowe’s.
  • Lowe’s reported disappointing earnings during Wednesday’s quarterly call with investors and analysts.
  • But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. The retailer saw a jump in online sales in the previous quarter.
  • Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison said this jump reflected the company’s commitment to overhauling its online presence.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Lowe’s posted disappointing earnings on Wednesday, but a surge in online sales reflected one bright spot for the home-improvement retailer.

Lowes.com saw a 16% jump in comparative sales, which Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison attributed to the chain’s commitment to refurbishing its online presence. Its same-store sales grew 3.5% in the most recent quarter.

Lowe’s has a history of technological misadventures – take its website’s habit of crashing on Black Friday, for instance – but Ellison said the company’s tech team was committed to ensuring “the site operates the way we need it to operate.”

Another prong of the company’s online strategy has centered on embedding “online merchants within core merchandising groups” as well as constructing a direct fulfillment center outside Nashville, Tennessee, according to Ellison.

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The online merchants are tasked with considering the digital implications of selling specific products and categories, while Ellison said the Tennessee fulfillment center would take the pressure off stores when it came to online fulfillment. And the CEO said the upshot of these moves would be a better digital experience for Lowe’s shoppers.

“All of that makes it easier for our customers to shop on Lowes.com,” the CEO said.

Ellison went on to praise the leadership of the company’s chief information officer, Seemantini Godbole, citing her “deep understanding of the online space” and adding that the company’s tech team was committed to building up the site’s technological “infrastructure” and shifting from a mainframe-based platform to a cloud-based platform.

“We think we’re only at the early stages of what’s going to be a tremendous business platform for us over the next couple of years,” he said.

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