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Lowe's plans expansion into Mexico

MOORESVILLE — As part of its strategy for long-term growth, Lowe’s Companies Inc. announced Thursday it plans to expand into Mexico.

Lowe’s expects to open three to five stores in Monterrey in 2009, representing an investment of $18 million to $20 million per store.

“For several years, we have been evaluating opportunities to serve consumers in vibrant home improvement markets outside the United States,” explained Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO.

“With homeownership rates in the market growing at a rapid pace, we see Monterrey as a tremendous opportunity to offer Lowe’s products and services to homeowners and commercial customers in a superior shopping environment with customer service that is recognized as among the best in retail.”

The Lowe’s stores in Monterrey will create up to 800 new, direct jobs in the area.

The company’s new office in Monterrey is led by Francisco Fernandez, vice president of Lowe’s-Mexico. Fernandez will be responsible for managing Lowe’s entry into Mexico as well as ongoing operations in the country.

Fernandez joined Lowe’s in 2002 with more than 16 years of experience in the home improvement industry, including seven years with Total Home (Alfa Group) in Monterrey.

A third-generation retailer, Fernandez has experience in merchandising, marketing, supply chain and global sourcing. He has a degree in mechanical and administration engineering and an M.B.A. from Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (I.T.E.S.M.) and diplomas in international commerce and marketing, also from I.T.E.S.M.

Lowe’s is also on track with plans to open six to 10 stores in the greater Toronto area beginning in the fall.

With fiscal year 2005 sales of $43.2 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a Fortune 50 company that serves approximately 12 million customers a week at more than 1,375 home improvement stores in 49 states.

Based in Mooresville, the 60-year old company is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world.

For more information, visit Lowes.com.

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