Lowe's CEO Marvin Ellison said the retailer had unique advantages that helped it weather the coronavirus pandemic in its early months: more stores in rural areas and a large base of do-it-yourself customers.
As the pandemic stretches on and Covid-19 cases spread beyond big cities, however, the home improvement retailer said it's seen the struggles of small businesses in rural areas. It's looked for new ways to serve and market to customers in a time of social distancing.
On Thursday, Lowe's pledged $25 million toward grants for small businesses in rural communities, including some home professionals and contractors who shop at its stores. It will also turn a few of its parking lots into drive-in movie theaters, an idea that may expand to more locations.
Lowe's Chief Brand and Marketing Officer Marisa Thalberg said like companies owned by minorities and women, rural businesses face certain challenges like limited access to capital and fewer nearby services.
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