Lowe’s will be bringing ‘smart home’ centers to its stores

Lowe’s knows its shoppers are increasingly looking to purchase smart home devices, in addition to the idea wants to help.

On Tuesday, the home improvement retailer unveiled plans to launch so-called stores within its stores, in a partnership with b8ta, to sell in addition to educate shoppers on smart home products.

With the software retailer, Lowe’s will set up centers at 70 locations nationwide, where various tech gadgets will be sold aside knowledgeable customer service representatives.

“Consumers aspire to live a connected life in addition to crave solutions that will make This particular possible,” Ruth Crowley, vice president of customer experience design at Lowe’s, said in a statement.

“Smart home products simplify life – yet the technology can sometimes be confusing or intimidating,” she added. “So, we developed Smart Home powered by b8ta to emulate a ‘lab-like’ atmosphere that will empowers customers to make informed decisions.”

Lowe’s will be allowing its shoppers to learn about in addition to try certain smart home technology before producing a purchase.

The mini stores will feature more than 60 smart home products, sold through brands such as Google, Sonos, Nest, Samsung in addition to Ring. The items on sale will include thermostats, cameras, speakers in addition to security systems.

In addition to the 70 Lowe’s stores getting a complete smart home outfit, 1,000 Lowe’s locations will launch smart home displays ahead of Black Friday in addition to the holiday shopping season.

Lowe’s website has also been updated to speak to the b8ta collaboration, in addition to to offer smart home product education, tips in addition to tricks.

As far as retailers go, Lowe’s has fared better than many within the industry This particular year, having watched its shares climb roughly 10 percent in 2017. The S&P 500 Retail ETF (XRT), for comparison, has fallen 11 percent over the same period.

North Carolina-based Lowe’s has been experimenting with brand new technology in addition to ways to excite customers for years, through its Innovation Labs team. Its 70 mini smart home stores are the latest example of that will.

Just earlier This particular year, Lowe’s rolled out a virtual realty experience that will offers do-the idea-yourself assistance through tutorials inside Lowe’s Holoroom. Then, in September, Lowe’s launched two brand new augmented reality apps — one for measuring an object, or distance, within the phone’s camera view, in addition to one for viewing images of furnishings, at scale, within a user’s own home.

“through a competitive position, we believe LOW will be at lower risk through e-commerce than most different retailers within the near term, in addition to has the scale to make many of the necessary investments for future growth,” KeyBanc analyst Bradley Thomas wrote in a Monday note to clients.

Thomas’ firm has initiated coverage on Lowe’s stock, with an overweight rating in addition to a $98 cost target. Lowe’s shares were last trading around $78 apiece.

“Essentially all physical retailers are facing a growing threat through e-commerce in addition to Amazon,” Thomas added. “The home improvement sector has historically exhibited less risk through e-commerce.”

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