Lowe's Companies, doing business as Lowe's, is an American retail company specializing in home improvement.
Lowe's is the second-largest hardware chain in the United States behind The Home Depot and ahead of Menards. It is also the second-largest hardware chain in the world, also behind The Home Depot but ahead of European retailers Leroy Merlin, B&Q, and OBI.
The first Lowe's store, Lowe's North Wilkesboro Hardware, opened in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina in 1921 by Lucius Smith Lowe (1879–1940). After Lowe died in 1940, the business was inherited by his daughter Ruth, who sold the company to her brother Jim that same year. Jim took on Carl Buchan as a partner in 1943.