Buy a couple of wholesalers and Boom! You need a new campaign

Steve’s breakdown: Lowe’s has bought up Maintenance Supply Headquarters and Central Wholesalers to get into the professional-customer market. They’re gonna need and new marketing plan for that business and they don’t have anyone doing the work at the moment.

MOORESVILLE, NC: Lowe’s announced Thursday it is acquiring a Houston company called Maintenance Supply Headquarters for $512 million. Lowe’s said the deal will help it better serve its lucrative and quickly growing professional-customer base.

Maintenance Supply Headquarters distributes products designed to maintain and renovate multifamily buildings, such as appliances, plumbing, HVAC and lighting, Lowe’s said in a statement. Along with its 2016 acquisition of Central Wholesalers, the latest deal “will substantially expand Lowe’s ability to serve the multifamily housing industry.”

Lowe’s said the Maintenance Supply Headquarters deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Mike Tummillo, who was recently named Lowe’s senior vice president of pro sales, will oversee Maintenance Supply Headquarters and Central Wholesalers, Lowe’s said.

Lowe’s has been working to make itself a go-to source for professional customers, such as contractors, who reliably and frequently place bigger orders than the average customer. In the summer of 2015, for instance, the home improvement retailer revamped its site in an effort to attract and retain pro customers.

Pros make up a relatively small portion of Lowe’s shopper base, but the company has said the pro business is growing faster than the general home improvement market.

The surge of apartment building development all over the U.S., including in Charlotte, presents a particularly large opportunity for the company’s pro customer business, Richard Maltsbarger, Lowe’s chief development officer and president of international, told the Observer.

“With the growth of multifamily (construction) that has occurred over the last decade, as well as what will occur going forward, it gives us a great chance to access the more than 30 percent of Americans who rent their place of residence,” Maltsbarger said.

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