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10/17/2022

Top Women In Store Brands 2022: Lowe's, DEI

Home improvement retailer Lowe's is the winner of the first Top Women in Store Brands DEI award for its inclusive offerings for customers and associates, as well as sourcing practices.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Lowe's

When it comes to product sourcing, including for its private brands, Lowe’s is a champion of DEI. The retailer seeks small and diverse suppliers where possible, partnering with organizations that champion diverse suppliers and entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses. 

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s has earned the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) honor for taking several initiatives to create a better world for various groups including women. The North Carolina-headquartered retail giant operates nearly 2,200 stores, employing over 300,000 people, and says its DEI approach focused on three strategic areas: talent, culture and business.

Lowe’s actively listens to stakeholders’ needs,including their associates and customers, and collaborates with them to create inclusive policies, products, and engagement efforts. One of these programs is the launch of Lowe’s’ American Sign Language (ASL) tools and resources.

Earlier this year, Lowe’s offered special custom-designed American Sign Language vests, polo shirts, badges, pins, training, and more to support their deaf and hard of hearing customers and associates. These tools provide awareness to customers and other associates that they may use ASL language or communicate differently.

This year, Lowe’s also added other tools and a new app with Talk-to-Text capabilities to Lowe’s-provided mobile devices to effectively communicate. The Talk-to-Text app may also be used by hearing associates who need to interact and provide great customer service to deaf and hard-of-hearing customers who may be shopping at their stores.

In 2021, Lowe’s created the Livable Home program, dedicated to providing total solutions to disabled and elderly homeowners and associates. The program offers a toll-free number that provides information for customers on what products exist to make their homes safer and more accessible, such as chair lifts, wheelchair ramps, walk-in baths and other items.

Due to the work done on this program in 2021, Lowe's received the 2022 Marketplace Innovator of the Year Inclusion Award from Disability:IN, a leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide

When it comes to product sourcing, including for its private brands, Lowe’s is a champion of DEI. The retailer seeks small and diverse suppliers where possible, partnering with organizations that champion diverse suppliers and entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses. The company has enhanced processes to collect and analyze supplier data and establish baselines to better understand each vendor’s capabilities and identify opportunities for improvement.

To sum up its DEI approach, the company says that “when Lowe’s is successful, the associates, customers and shareholders should be too."