Lowe’s workers will see range of bonuses again, despite layoffs and slip in sales

Despite a decline in sales and recent layoffs, Lowe’s is giving its employees bonuses.

The Mooresville-based home improvement chain is giving $140 million worth of one-time bonuses, Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison said Tuesday during the company’s fourth-quarter and annual earnings call.

“This quarter we delivered strong operating profit and improved customer satisfaction, despite the continued pullback in DIY spending,” Ellison said. DIY accounts for 75% of Lowe’s revenue. The bonuses recognize Lowe’s employees’ work and dedication, Ellison said.

Just last month, Lowe’s confirmed an undisclosed number of corporate and IT job cuts “to improve its operations,” The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

All full-time hourly store employees will receive $400, and part-time workers will get $200 one-time bonuses, Joe McFarland, executive vice president of Lowe’s stores, said during the earnings call. Salaried managers will receive a bonus of $5,000.

Employees will see the bonuses in the March 22 paycheck, Lowe’s spokesman Steve Salazar said.

Bonus compensation in includes shared-based bonuses for managers and assistant managers through training and development programs. Over the past six years, Lowe’s has added over 10,000 department supervisors and over 10,000 assistant store managers, McFarland said.

“We are creating opportunities for advancement for our associates to encourage them to build their careers with Lowe’s,” McFarland said.

Lowe’s operates over 1,700 home improvement stores and employs about 300,000 people, mostly hourly. Lowe’s has about 11,000 employees in the Charlotte region, including 5,000 corporate workers.

Lowe’s home improvement chain based in Mooresville, NC, is giving $140 million worth of one-time bonuses to hourly employees and managers.
Lowe’s home improvement chain based in Mooresville, NC, is giving $140 million worth of one-time bonuses to hourly employees and managers.

Lowe’s 4Q earnings report

On Tuesday, Lowe’s also reported net earnings of $1 billion during the fourth quarter ending Feb. 2, compared to $1.6 billion the same quarter last year. Total sales for the quarter were $18.6 billion compared to $22.4 billion in the prior-year quarter.

Comparable sales decreased 6.2% in the fourth quarter blamed on a slowdown in do-it-yourself demand and unfavorable January winter weather. Pro customer comparable sales were flat for the quarter.

Lowe’s expects to feel the pressure of DIY throughout this year as customers spend more on services like restaurants and travel, Ellison said.

The home improvement retailer also is dealing with consumers hesitant to make big-ticket appliance purchases and a stagnant housing market.

However, Lowe’s is already beginning to see signs of spring sales ticking up in some markets, said Bill Boltz, Lowe’s executive vice president. Lowe’s new DIY loyalty program, which was piloted in some Charlotte-area stores, rolls out nationwide March 1.