Lowes Foods

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For the Texas-based grocery chain, see Lowe's Market.
Lowes Foods
Founded 1954 (1954) in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, USA
Headquarters Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
Number of locations
97 Stores (2015)[1]
Area served
South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia
Products Grocery, Deli, Bakery, Meat, Seafood, Produce, Dairy, Floral, Online Ordering, Delivery, Fuel, Pharmacy
Revenue $1.6 billion (2007)
Parent Alex Lee Inc.
Website www.lowesfoods.com
Lowes Foods in Pinehurst, NC

Lowes Foods is a grocery store chain based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The chain's initial growth was in the mountains of North Carolina and rural areas of Virginia, but, starting in the late 1990s, has geared expansion towards metropolitan areas in North and South Carolina.

Until October 4, 2009, Lowes Foods used S&H Greenpoints on their store discount card; this was replaced with "Fresh Rewards" on October 5.[2] Many of Lowes Foods stores also offer Lowes Foods to Go, where shoppers can order groceries online and drive to the store to pick them up. Business and home delivery is available at select locations throughout North and South Carolina.


Lowes Foods started in 1954 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, with a single store opened by Jim Lowe (former co-owner of Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, and son of its founder). Lowe sold that store to J. C. Faw. Expansion in Wilkesboro and the mountain regions of NC shortly followed. In 1984, the chain was sold to Merchants Distributors, Inc. (MDI)[3] a grocery distributor based in Hickory, North Carolina. After MDI bought Institution Food House, in 1992, MDI reorganized as a holding company, Alex Lee, Inc., with MDI, IFH and Lowes as subsidiaries. It was named for Alex and Lee George, sons of the MDI founder.[4][5][6]

In 1997, Alex Lee bought Byrd's Food Stores Inc. of Burlington, North Carolina, which had 43 stores. Lowes had 56 stores, few in the area served by Byrd's. The Byrd's stores became Lowes stores.[7][8] In 2000, Delhaize America had to sell 38 Hannaford stores to satisfy antitrust concerns. Lowes bought 12 of these, six (plus one under construction) in the Research Triangle region and six along the North Carolina coast.[9]

In 2007, Lowes Foods opened its first fuel station at a Hickory, North Carolina, store. As of August 2016, 14 Lowes Foods stores had fuel stations. Lowes offers a five cent discount per gallon of gas with each $100 spent inside the store which is redeemable at Lowes Foods fuel stations or any participating Speedway or WilcoHess locations in North and South Carolina.[10][11]

In March 2011, Lowes Foods opened a 'frugal cousin' series of stores called Just $ave. These stores are located all in North Carolina and mainly in rural areas, targeting budget-conscious shoppers. The first location opened was in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina.[12] In August 2011, Lowes began the Aisle50 program in the Carolinas, intending to expand to other areas and other chains in the future. Deals from aisle50.com will not likely replace coupons, but shoppers will be able to buy certain products for about half their normal prices.[13]

In March 2012, the company stopped selling pink slime and reported that it was only present in ten percent of its products.[14]

On June 1, 2012, the company announced that they were leaving the Charlotte, North Carolina market by trading ten Charlotte area stores with Harris Teeter for six Western North Carolina stores and $26.5 million in cash.[15] By March 2015, Lowes began shifting its store portfolio and had closed the six stores it acquired from Harris Teeter as well as stores in Cary, West Jefferson, and Greenville, North Carolina. These closures were announced as part of a comprehensive growth strategy that would include rebranding all existing Lowes Foods stores by 2019 and entering into the Greenville, South Carolina market in 2016. Lowes plans to add three to five Greenville stores as part of its growth strategy.[16][17][18][19][20]

In August 2016, Lowes Foods announced the closures of two Lowes stores in North Wilkesboro and Shallotte North Carolina as well as a Just $ave location in Dobson, North Carolina. The closures are part of an overall investment strategy to accelerate growth.[21]


Supermarkets Just $ave Gas Stations Total stores
South Carolina 6 0 3 6
North Carolina 71 19 11 90
Virginia 1 0 0 1
Total 78 19 14 97

Supermarket and Just $ave are considered "stores". Gas Stations are part of actual stores and therefore do not count towards total store counts.


  1. ^ Peralta, Katherine (March 10, 2015). "Lowes Foods is closing 2 Charlotte-area stores". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ Fran Daniel, "Lowes Drops Greenpoints," Winston-Salem Journal, October 2, 2009.
  3. ^ "Carolinas FYI: About Lowe's and Lowes," The Charlotte Observer, March 16, 2003.
  4. ^ http://www.lowesfoods.com/content/CorporateHistory.cfm, Retrieved on 2008/12/15.
  5. ^ Rob Urban, "L-R's Man of the Year Known for Modesty: Lee George Gets Praise for Good Works," The Charlotte Observer, January 15, 1989.
  6. ^ "Company Profiles: Alex Lee, Inc.". Hoover's. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  7. ^ Karine Michael, "Lowes Foods Swallows Byrd's," The Herald-Sun, September 30, 1997.
  8. ^ "In the Region," Winston-Salem Journal, February 27, 1998.
  9. ^ Mike Ramsey, "38 Sold As Part of Merger; 6 Hannafords in Area Will Become Lowes Food Stores," Star-News, June 1, 2000.
  10. ^ Daniel, Fran (December 5, 2010). "Stomping Grounds: Fleet Feet Sports is enjoying more space at new location in old Master's Loft store". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Gas Rewards". Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  12. ^ "One Year Anniversary Celebration at Just $ave in Pilot Mountain -- Winston-Salem, NC - March 3, 2012" (Press release). Lowes Foods. March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  13. ^ Dunn, Amy (August 14, 2011). "Lowes to offer daily grocery deals". News & Observer. Raleigh, NC. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  14. ^ Lowes Food to stop selling 'pink slime' beef
  15. ^ "Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. Announces Agreement with Lowe's Food Stores, Inc. to Purchase and Sell Certain Assets". Harris Teeter. June 1, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Lowes Foods to Close Asheville Location". Lowes Foods. November 28, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Lowes Foods is closing 2 Charlotte-area stores". August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Lowes Foods is closing 2 Charlotte-area stores". March 10, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Lowes Foods in Greenville closing in September". August 22, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Lowes Foods announces plans for Greenville store". February 27, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Lowes Foods supermarket in North Wilkesboro to close by Sept. 17". journalpatriot.com. August 5, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 

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