Lowe's Buys Online Retailer ATG Stores

Lowe's rarely grows through acquisition, but the retailer made an exception with its recent purchase of ATG Stores, an online retailer that offers 3.5 million SKUs through 500-plus websites. In contrast, Lowe's e-commerce site currently offers approximately 220,000 SKUs. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Allied Trade Group (ATG Stores) began as an online retailer in 1999 with the launch of its first website, LightingUniverse.com. Today, the retailer's 18 category divisions include appliances, home furnishings, cooking and dining, pet products, sporting goods, apparel, party supplies, luggage and automotive. In addition to its online sites, ATG operates two brick-and-mortar stores in Washington State.

"The addition of ATG Stores is a strategic fit, providing more opportunities for Lowe's to be a relevant partner at every state of the home improvement process and deliver better customer experiences from inspiration to planning to enjoyment," said Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock in a statement.

ATG will remain an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Lowe's, with each organization maintaining separate branding and independent assortment planning and merchandising. No jobs will be lost as a result of the acquisition, according to a company statement.

Lowe's, the nation's second-largest home improvement retailer with 1,725 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, has generally relied on organic growth rather than acquisitions. In fact, the ATG purchase was its first since Lowe's bought Eagle Hardware more than 12 years ago, according to published reports. Lowe's also has a joint venture with Woolworths in Australia.

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