Home » New Mexico Profile: Lowe’s Signature Market In Alamogordo Is The ‘Nicest Store In The State’ By Design
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New Mexico Profile: Lowe’s Signature Market In Alamogordo Is The ‘Nicest Store In The State’ By Design

tortilleria.DW

Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 09:18 am

by Terrie Ellerbee/editor-Southwest

Lowe’s Signature Market is not just the nicest store in the Lowe’s Market lineup. It is the nicest store in New Mexico.

Officially celebrated with a grand reopening in the summer of 2015, the ideas that turned the Alamogordo location into a Signature store started percolating well before then.

Roger Lowe Jr.
Roger Lowe Jr.

“It took us two years to get all the pieces together to where we could actually do a concept store, have the right training, understand what we wanted to do and the different departments we wanted to add to the store,” said Roger Lowe Jr., VP/CEO. “It is really our first venture into a fresh format with lots of (fresh prepared) food offerings. We pulled a lot of knowledge from our (National Grocers Association) share group that helped us in developing a go-to-market strategy as far as our food offerings in the store.”

The deli is 100 percent scratch, and there is an artisan bakery.

“We’d had bakeries, but never scratch, artisan bakeries,” Lowe said.

The tortilleria has been updated and now is an interactive experience for shoppers.

“We had one before, but we expanded it, and it has a lot more offerings,” Lowe told The Shelby Report. “Customers can actually be right there where the tortillas are, just right on the edge where they’re being made, and they can see them being made. We fry our corn chips and taco shells, the whole gamut. And then they get free, hot samples right there off the tortilleria, corn and flour both.”

There are pastry chefs and a wine steward on staff. Lowe’s Signature Market was the first grocery store in New Mexico to offer growlers.

The wine and spirits department is “just unbelievable,” Lowe said. “Even the liquor vendors say it is second to none. There’s not a liquor department in New Mexico that holds a candle to what we put in.”

Another popular area in the store is the bar. There are 12 wine offerings and 24 micro-craft beers on tap, many of them from New Mexico breweries. Shoppers can take prepared food to the seating area or order from the bar menu for table service.

“We’ve actually expanded the seating area since we opened it. We had a big seating area and it still wasn’t enough because so many people were eating in there and enjoying it,” Lowe said. “We have people come in at lunch and have a beer or a glass of wine. On the weekends we do a lot of live entertainment in there. It has a fireplace sitting area also, with couches and TVs. The bar area itself is almost like a sports bar; it has four TVs where people can watch games and whatnot. It’s really unique, especially for us.”

The bar also features a backsplash made of pennies (about $70 worth, according to Chris Brown, an engineer with Decorworx, the décor company Lowe’s chose to give the store its unique look; Brown counted the pennies). Lowe saw something like it in a house and thought it would be nice for the backsplash and fit in with the new décor.

Lowe’s also teamed up with a local coffee shop, Plateau Espresso, for an in-store coffee kiosk.

All of that is in addition to Café 675—the store’s address is 675 E. 10th Street—offering salads, burritos, pizzas and more.

Lowe said he scouted other states looking for amenities and offerings not previously found in New Mexico.

“I traveled across the country looking at concepts and trying to pull best-in-class, and these are ideas that we’d been banking away for two years knowing that one day we would do a Signature store,” he said. “I have seen (bars in grocery stores) in other parts of the country, but not in our part of the country. We brought it to our part of the country.”

Historical photos cause a stir

Alamogordo borders the White Sands National Monument, where dunes of white gypsum sand cover 275 square miles of desert. It is a very old place.

Lowe said that what passed for décor in the store pre-remodel was “100 percent historical photos.

“They went around every wall,” Lowe said. “We knew we wanted to preserve that feel, but yet bring the store to a modern-day level. If we were going to call it a Signature store, we wanted it to tie into the community, but also be that Signature that it needed to be.”

It isn’t hard to imagine that when shoppers saw some of those photos coming down they were upset.

“They were actually mad at us that we took them all down, and we had to reassure them that they were going back up,” Brown said. “The historical photos in this store were very important to the customer base.”

Lowe said Decorworx “did an amazing job combining the two.” The response has been more than he could have hoped for.

“People walk around with their heads in the air, just walking and looking,” Lowe said.

Decorworx, among other things, provided items for the bar area, installed all the signage and menu boards, developed the color scheme and put together a unique department sign  in the wine and spirits area that features three barrels.

“The original design was to only have one barrel on its side,” Brown said. “We changed it up and put the three standing up on end, and I think it looks a lot better that way.”

For local customers, the store has become a treasure. For the grocer, the return on investment after the new concept debuted was a 40 percent increase in sales. Lowe’s Signature Market has become a destination, and that’s exactly what everyone wanted.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Lowe said. “Alamogordo is a smaller town, and we created a place for them to come. It’s not just shopping. It’s an experience for them. When we go in the store, we have people stop dead in the aisle all the time just thanking us. They just can’t believe they’ve got the nicest store in New Mexico and it’s in their little town of Alamogordo. It’s not in Albuquerque. It’s not in Las Cruces. It’s in Alamogordo, New Mexico. They have the very finest, nicest store in the state.”

He said that even with two competitors opening up since the remodel, the business has maintained its momentum and customers have stayed loyal to their store.

“We really work hard to—even though we’re not local (Lowe’s is based in Littlefield, Texas)—to tie in and be the local supermarket,” Lowe said. “The people that work in that store, some of them have been there well over 20 years. Our teammates are really focused on the community. It’s a special store, and it’s the nicest store in our company by far.”

*Editor’s note: This New Mexico Market Profile also appears in the January 2017 print edition of The Shelby Report of the Southwest.

About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

1 Comment

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  • We enjoyed working with the Lowe’s organization. They collaborated with us to create a spectacular design. We love working with customers who have a vision of what their store can offer. Lowe’s is a fantastic organization to be associated with.

    Shelly Dansie
    Decorworx

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