Businesses wishing their products were sold at Lowe’s home improvement stores are getting their chance to pitch them to the company.
And, it culminates with a two-day event this fall in Charlotte.
For the first time in Lowe’s 101-year history, the retailer will hold a “live pitch event” for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes to become suppliers to the chain.
“We’re always continuously looking for that new and different product,” Sarah Dodd, senior vice president of global merchandising at Lowe’s, told The Charlotte Observer. “And sometimes we know it’s hard for businesses to get in front of a big box retailer and have their opportunity to show their new and different items.
“This is an opportunity for folks to get in front of us and show us what they have,” she said.
Products selected will have a chance to be sold at Lowe’s more than 1,700 U.S. retail stores and online.
Lowe’s plans to invest $5 million in purchase orders to new suppliers, the Mooresville-based company said. Multiple suppliers will be chosen, Dodd said.
The intent is to drive as many suppliers as possible to apply, Lowe’s spokesman Olin Ericksen said.
How to apply for the pitch event
“Into the Blue: Lowe’s Product Pitch Event” invites small and large businesses and entrepreneurs with ready-for-market products to apply.
Applications will be accepted Tuesday through Aug. 14 at Lowes.com/Suppliers.
“We’re looking for the new and the different and the innovative,” Dodd said. “We’re always striving to make sure that we have a good representation of vendors that represent and look like the communities that we serve.”
What to expect at Lowe’s ‘big’ pitch event
Selected businesses will be notified in early September.
Next, the businesses will pitch their product to Lowe’s executives and representatives at “Into the Blue: Lowe’s Product Pitch Event” Nov. 2-3 at the Lowe’s Tech Hub in Charlotte’s South End.
The event also will include a vendor fair for businesses to talk about working with Lowe’s.
Final details are still in the works, Dodd said.
“We’ve never done anything to this scale, this big,” Dodd said.
The pitch event fits in with Lowe’s “Total Home Strategy,” Dodd said, to become a total home retailer from towels to golf carts.
“We’re always looking for the new and different,” she said. “This is just going to be our biggest way yet.”
The latest on Lowe’s tech hub
The “Into the Blue: Lowe’s Product Pitch Event” will be held at Lowe’s Charlotte tech hub at 100 W. Worthington Ave. Lowe’s will anchor the 23-story tower and have about 2,000 tech employees on the 15 upper floors of the Design Center Tower.
The tech hub center’s opening date has been a moving target, mainly blamed on pandemic delays, The Charlotte Observer previously reported. It was originally expected to open late last year, then moved to debut by the end of this month.
Developers Childress Klein and RAM Realty Advisors broke ground on the office tower three years ago.
This story was originally published July 26, 2022 6:00 AM.