Lowe’s Companies on Wednesday announced that Michael West will join the company as senior vice president of supply chain field operations, effective Sept. 25. He will report to Chief Supply Chain Officer Brent G. Kirby, according to a company press release.
West will lead operations for Lowe’s regional and flatbed distribution centers, millwork facilities and bulk distribution centers, driving increased efficiency and flexibility to best meet the needs of customers, the company said.
He joins Lowe’s from Neiman Marcus, where he served on the company’s leadership team as senior vice president, supply chain. In that role, he led distribution, transportation and fulfillment for all the brands in the Neiman Marcus Group. He also spent 12 years at Target, where he held various leadership positions, including vice president, global logistics.
Despite sales increases that contrast favorably with the far gloomier reports from many other retailers, home improvement retailer Lowe’s has struggled compared to rival Home Depot. Both have benefited from a steadily improving housing market and domestic economy, and remain relatively insulated from the encroachment of e-commerce on their market share and sales. The home improvement sector is among the healthiest in retail, and Moody’s Investors Service analysts at year’s end said they expect that to continue.
Home Depot has captured market share, particularly among women, according to a report emailed to Retail Dive earlier this year, in part by keeping stores and products up-to-date and smoothing online transactions, and has also scored well with construction professionals.
Lowe's has been positioning itself as a state-of-the-art retailer, through the Lowe’s Innovation Labs and other forward-looking technology teams that work on new products and services. As far as omnichannel efforts go, Lowe's has been somewhat ahead of the game, enabling its stores to be more like fulfillment centers, and giving store associates more access to mobile apps and tools to help them close sales with customers. Still, the company announced massive layoffs in January, following 95 IT-related jobs we re cut in October, with some jobs off-shored to India. Another 125 IT employees were cut this summer amid plans to revamp the IT group into a more strategic, competitive entity. The retailer opened an IT office in Bangalore back in 2014, where it employs about 1,000 people.
West's experience is decidedly global, which Kirby highlighted in his statement Wednesday.
"Mike has over 20 years of global retail experience in all facets of supply chain operations," said Kirby. "We are confident that Mike’s deep expertise and proven leadership in supply chain operations will help support Lowe’s omni-channel strategy by meeting customers on their terms, and position the company for continued growth."