Lowe's Goes On Offense With IT, Sort Of

Sometimes you just have to listen to what people are really saying. Home improvement chain Lowe's just spent more money on IT in 2011 than in any other year in its history, an aggressive investment that was spelled out in the company's earnings call on Monday (Feb. 27). But we were still taken aback when we saw a transcript of the call from investment site SeekingAlpha.com, which quoted Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock citing network and Wi-Fi upgrades, and then saying, "And it meant rolling out offense to replace existing functionality and to enable the ability to tender a sale at any place in the store."

Rolling out offense? Now that's aggressive language. But a quick review of the actual earnings call recording reveals what Niblock actually said in his North Carolina accent: "And it meant rolling out iPhones to replace existing functionality." That makes more sense. But we still like the idea of a retail CEO bragging about going on offense with IT better.

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