Is Lowe’s a Franchise? (Not What You Think)

Franchising is an incredible way for a business to expand its operations quickly and gain a significant market share without micro-managing each store.

Lowe’s has over 2,000 stores across several countries, including the US and Canada. A question you may be asking; is Lowe’s a franchise business? I’ve done some research, and here is what I’ve found out about this!

Is Lowe’s a Franchise?

Lowe’s is not a franchise but a publicly traded corporation on the stock market. The company is operated by the Board of Directors, the CEO, and the Executive and Senior Leadership teams. Also, there are multiple company shareholders, with The Vanguard Group being the biggest shareholder with a current stake of 8.13%.

If you want to learn more about why Lowe’s isn’t a franchise, who the owners and shareholders of Lowe’s are, and whether Lowe’s stores are individually owned, keep on reading!

Why Isn’t Lowe’s a Franchise?

When a company franchises, it offers its stores or restaurants for a fee to the public.

Then, entrepreneurs can buy and own these individual stores while receiving support and products from the parent company.

In return, the franchisee, or owner of the individual store, will have to pay royalty fees to continue doing business under the company name.

However, franchising is a business model that is not suitable for Lowe’s because each store has thousands of products and requires a significant capital investment to build.

When compared to a fast-food chain, the cost of opening a Lowe’s store is not possible for someone wanting to own a franchise.

Additionally, because Lowe’s has full control and ownership of its stores, it can hold more profits.

Who Owns Lowe’s?

Lowe’s is currently run by its Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Marvin R. Ellison. Marvin has more than 35 years of retail leadership and operational experience within Fortune 500 companies.

Most notably, he served as Executive Vice President of Home Depot US stores from 2008 to 2014.

Moreover, Lowe’s was founded in 1921 by Lucius Smith Lowe, with the first store opening in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

After growing exponentially for 40 years, Lowe’s became a publicly traded company on October 10, 1961, with roughly 400,000 shares being sold at $12.25 per share on the first day of trading.

Who Are the Shareholders Of Lowe’s?

Who Are The Shareholders Of Lowe's?

Here are the top 10 shareholders that own stakes in Lowe’s (as of 2024):

  • The Vanguard Group, inc. (8.13% stake)
  • SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (4.45% stake)
  • BlackRock Fund Advisors (4.44% stake)
  • Fidelity Management & Research Co. LLC (3.18% stake)
  • JPMorgan Investment Management, Inc. (1.92% stake)
  • Geode Capital Management LLC (1.55% stake)
  • Pershing Square Capital Management LP (1.46% stake)
  • Northern Trust Investments, Inc. (1.27% stake)
  • Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC (1.21% stake)
  • Massachusetts Financial Services Co. (0.99% stake)

Also, note that these investors are known for owning shares in competing companies such as Home Depot and Walmart.

Are Lowe’s Stores Individually Owned?

No, Lowe’s stores are not individually owned. Instead, each store operates under the same parent company.

However, some stores may choose to have individual pricing, sales, opening times, and company policies depending on state law and merchandise stock.

Additionally, other factors impacting individual Lowe’s stores include whether the location is a high-income area or whether the store is in a quiet rural area, leading to different closing times.

Is Lowe’s a Private Business?

No, Lowe’s is not a private business. Instead, Lowe’s is a publicly-traded company, with stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

With that, the retailer offers direct stock purchase plans for the public to purchase Lowe’s company stock and gives employees a 15% discount on company stock.

To know more about Lowe’s, you might also be interested in reading up on Lowe’s slogan, when does Lowe’s has sales, and Lowe’s pro desk.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

1 thought on “Is Lowe’s a Franchise? (Not What You Think)”

  1. Would like to see a Lowe’s come to Polk Co. Georgia. We r a growing area and are in the center of several large areas. the nearest Lowes is Rome and Cartersville which are 26-30miles from us.Thank you for allowing to inquire!

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