Lowe's Companies, Inc. is an American company that operates a chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Founded in 1946 in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the chain has 1,754 stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
As of 2010, the chain is based in Mooresville, North Carolina. Lowe's is the second-largest hardware chain in the United States behind The Home Depot and ahead of Menards. Globally, Lowe's is also the second-largest hardware chain, again behind The Home Depot but ahead of the European stores B&Q and OBI.
The first Lowe's store, Lowe's North Wilkesboro Hardware, was first opened in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina in 1921 by Lucius Smith Lowe (1879 - 1940).