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Lowe’s Turns Top Carpet Brand into Private Label with Acquisition

Retailers often strike exclusive wholesale deals with brands. Acquisitions are less common.
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· less than 3 min read

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Homebound shoppers are running out of rooms to renovate. But Lowe’s, midway through implementing its “Total Home” turnaround plan, is reupholstering its product assortment to get ahead of the anticipated sales slowdown.

Lowe’s last week acquired Stainmaster, a best-selling carpet brand it exclusively sold for more than a decade, making it a private label. Deal terms weren’t disclosed.

The future floorplan: Immediate day-to-day sales and operations aren’t changing yet, Lowe’s SVP of Global Merchandising Sarah Dodd told Retail Brew. But down the line, she said Lowe’s could deploy Stainmaster’s product knowledge and customer data to create new items. Ranking high: additional flooring categories.

The bigger picture: Acquisitions to create private labels aren’t unheard of. Lowe’s has snapped up several brands before, including allen + roth (home decor) and Moxie (cleaning supplies).

  • “Strategically, it can often make sense to strike [acquisition] deals versus developing your own [brand] to get speed and reduce market risk,” Steve Dennis, consultant and author of Remarkable Retail, told us.
  • Sales-only partnerships don’t offer retailers the same level of control, Dennis added.

Bottom line: Lowe’s knows the scent of wood shavings can’t compete with reopened bars. So to supplement its expansion into new categories, it’s investing in higher margin, high affinity brands like Stainmaster. — HL

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