Lowe’s opens its first scratch-and-dent outlet store in Monrovia – Daily News

on Oct22
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If you’re looking to save up to 70% on a new refrigerator, stove or microwave, scratched and dented may be your ticket.

Lowe’s Cos. is hoping that mindset resonates with customers as it ramps up its first-ever Lowe’s Outlet location in Monrovia. The 31,000-square-foot store, at 725 W. Huntington Dr., held a soft opening last week and a grand opening and ribbon cutting will be held at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22.

“We’ve officially been open one week now, and people are already coming in,” store manager Dayna Brown said. “That’s the best part for me. They come in and say, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to go tell my family,’ or ‘I’ve go to go tell my wife.’ The community seems really excited about it.”

They become doubly excited when they learn that all of the stoves, microwaves, refrigerators, dishwashers and washers and dryers are new, Brown said.

“That really differentiates us from any other outlet,” she said. “Other outlet stores have returned units and used units, but everything you see here in Lowe’s Outlet is brand new, just slightly imperfect. Somewhere in transit it has been scratched or dented, maybe on its way to a customer’s house, and it made its way to the Outlet.”

The items can be purchased with a three- or five-year warranty, Brown said.

Employee Brenda Pacheco, 21, cleans washers and dryers at the new Lowe’s Outlet store in Monrovia. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

A much smaller store

Housed in a former Orchard Supply Hardware building, the store is about a third the size of a typical Lowe’s, which averages more than 100,000 square feet. It will carry up to 1,000 scratch-and-dent appliances and parts from 61 surrounding Lowe’s locations, all priced from 25% to 70% off, based on condition and time on the sales floor.

Some of the damage is obvious — such as the dents at the bottom of a $1,298 Kitchen Aid dishwasher that’s marked down to $450 — a savings of 65%. But damage to many of the other appliances is barely noticeable or not visible at all because it’s somewhere on the side or in back.

A Whirlpool 24-cubic-foot refrigerator with no discernible scratches or dents is priced at $1,874,a discount of 26%, while a GE range originally priced at $1,299 is $974.

Lowe’s Outlet is staffed by 15 employees, most of whom were relocated from other Lowe’s locations in the area. Brown said the company doesn’t have immediate plans for more Lowe’s Outlet locations.

“Right now we’re focused on piloting the Monrovia outlet only,” she said.

Other retailers are selling damaged appliances

Lowe’s isn’t the only retail chain selling damaged appliances. Sears Outlet sells out of box, discontinued, refurbished, scratched and dented and used merchandise, and SaferWholesale.com recently advertised a scratch/dent LG refrigerator for $649.95 that was regularly priced at $1,889.95.

Bob Phibbs, CEO of The Retail Doctor, a New York-based retail consulting firm, said companies like Lowe’s and Sears are looking to sell off their damaged merchandise without enlisting the help of another company, and they’re looking to retain whatever profits they can.

And buyers?

“It won’t be so much the casual shopper, but more the shopper with an analytical personality,” Phibbs said. “It would someone who has visited a number of retail sites and knows what is and what isn’t a good deal.”

Founded in 1946, Lowe’s Companies Inc. and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores and employ about 300,000 employees. Lowe’s operates 109 stores in California and the company reported sales of $71.3 billion in fiscal 2018.

In August, Lowe’s announced it was laying off thousands of employees at its U.S. stores as it outsources some of their duties to outside companies. The company also announced last summer that it was closing the 99 Orchard Supply Hardware stores it owns in California, Florida and Oregon.

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