One of North America’s largest DIY chains, Lowe’s, is to create a national tool rental operation, with a “multi-year” programme of store opening. The first store in Charlotte, North Carolina, will open on 20 August.

Lowe’s said its in-store tool rental centres will offer equipment for both homeowners and professional customers, which each location being around 4,000 square feet, including areas for equipment servicing, cleaning and demonstrations.

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In expanding into rental Lowe’s is following in the footsteps of The Home Depot, its major DIY competitor, which has been offering tool rental for 25 years, generating almost $1 billion in revenues. 

Lowe’s is also no stranger to rental, with Sunbelt Rentals (and before that NationsRent) having leased propery from Lowe’s to run rental stores alongside the DIY stores. These rental operations were operated separately from Lowe’s.

Products at the new stores will include power tools, drain cleaning, restoration, sanitation and concrete tools, and online reservation will be an option. Its range does not yet include compact earthmoving equipment or powered access, both of which Home Depot is renting.

“For all of our customers, having the right tool is key to every project, but they may not always want to purchase a new tool or piece of equipment. Lowe’s Tool Rental helps customers save on the cost of owning, maintaining and storing the tools they need,” said Fred Stokes, senior vice president of Pro Sales and Services for Lowe’s.

“As the new home for Pros, offering tool rental is just another way we are committed to keeping them working. Whether a Pro’s tool fails on the job, needs a repair or they’re looking to try something new, tool rental will allow them to get back to the jobsite faster, saving them time and money.”

Lowe’s Tool Rental departments will be newly constructed spaces that either expand the Lowe’s store or are located on Lowe’s property next to an existing store. Lowe’s Companies reported fiscal year 2019 sales of $72.1 billion, and it operates more than 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores in the USA and Canada.

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