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With Heart For Small Towns, Lowe’s Excellent Fit In New Mexico

Lowe's Markets

Owned and operated by the Lowe’s family (now in its third generation), Lowe’s Markets is well known and appreciated by residents of New Mexico. 

Headquartered in Littlefield, Texas – just 44 miles from the New Mexico border – Lowe’s operates 22 stores in the state under the banners of Lowe’s Market (11), Super Save (four), Food King (three), Corner Market (two) and Shop ’n Save (two).

Lowe's Markets

Rarely building a store from the ground up, its growth strategy has been centered around acquiring stores in the region. Most of its New Mexico stores are in small cities and rural towns throughout the state, except for two that are in the large metropolitan area of Albuquerque.

Lowe’s has been operating in New Mexico since 1978 and since then has become proficient at knowing what residents in this state need and want from their local grocer. 

With store sizes ranging from 10,000 to 65,000 square feet, the company has become adept at curating assortments tailored to specific markets.

That said, regardless of store size or name on the banner, the company’s operating plan remains the same – being known as the “local grocery store” that is friendly and generous to the community.

In fact, the company was founded on the motto, “God. Family. Groceries.” It places faith in God first, caring for teammates and the community second, and running the business as third in priority. It is this philosophy that helped the company grow to 152 stores in five states (Texas andNew Mexico, as well as Arizona, Colorado and Kansas).

Lowe’s stores are known for having fresh produce, quality meat and a wide variety of products. Lowe’s offers weekly deals in the form of deeply discounted prices to help its customers save money. 

Shoppers are known to rave about Lowe’s friendly teammates, who are always willing to help customers in-store and support organizations in the community. 

“As an independent grocery store company, we have a heart for small towns which makes New Mexico an excellent fit for us,” said Roger Lowe, CEO. 

Regarding the company’s acquisition growth model in New Mexico, Lowe said: “In most of our New Mexico acquisitions we bought independent grocery stores that had loyal customer bases, but the stores were aging. We remodeled the interiors and installed new equipment to bring them back to life.”

Expanding on this, COO Alan Buxkemper said every acquisition comes with a significant transition. 

Lowe's Markets

“No matter the name on the store, our different banners all share the same commitment to value pricing, wide assortments, friendly service, fresh produce and high-quality meat,” he said.

Operating in small towns means Lowe’s teammates get to know their customers on a first name basis, as many of their kids are on the same baseball teams and go to the same schools and churches. 

“We don’t spend a lot of time identifying who our customer is and what they want – we know what their expectations are and work to meet those every day,” Buxkemper said. 

When it comes to market share and positioning, Lowe’s embraces the lane it has in most New Mexico communities. 

“We fit beautifully between Dollar General and Walmart,” said Matt Corbin, director of marketing and community support. “We respect our competitors, but our passion for customer and community satisfaction is higher than theirs.”

Finding and retaining help is a challenge in nearly every market. But after operating in the state for almost 50 years, Lowe’s has the process locked down. 

By giving teammates the opportunity to grow, paying them a fair wage and providing a rewarding career path, company leaders have been able to keep turnover low.

Lowe’s Market was named The Shelby Report of the Southwest’s 2022 Retailer of the Year. In addition, Roger Lowe Sr., president and chairman of the board at Lowe’s Market, has been inducted into Shelby Publishing’s Food Industry Hall of Fame.

Read more market profiles from The Shelby Report.

Food Deserts Serious Reality In Parts Of Rural New Mexico

About the author

Carol Radice

Senior Content Creator

Carol joins The Shelby Report with more than 25 years writing for B2B magazines that cover the drugstore and supermarket industries. A Rutgers graduate, she earned her B.A. degree in journalism and mass communications more years ago than she cares to admit. She is thrilled to be working with such an accomplished team and to share her knowledge of the industry with Shelby’s readers.

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