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Sales & Marketing

Lowe's Company

In 1948, Lowe's Company became a National Gypsum Customer. Lowe's was evidently proud of its partnership with National Gypsum. It etched the Gold Bond logo onto the wall of its first retail store in North Wilksboro, NC.

The relationship with Lowe's began with North and South Carolina District Manager James E. (Ed) Hickman, Sr. who sold the first load of gypsum wallboard to Lowe's small store located in North Wilkesboro. Pete Kulynych was the owner. As Lowe's grew it opened more stores.

"They only did business with my Dad; therefore, Gold Bond had Lowe's business exclusively," said James E. (Jim) Kirkman, Jr.

"One time, Jay Nicely, vide president of Sales, heard about this small growing chain and flew down from Buffalo to go with my Dad on a call. Jay asked for a truckload of rock wool insulation, and Lowe's replied curtly, 'No, sir. As the meeting was drawing to a close, Ed Kirkman said, 'How about 10 truckloads of rock wool,' to which Lowe's said yes. Later Dad explained that they had been insulted by asking for only one truckload!"

In 1988, Dick Griffin, then senior vice president of sales/marketing at Lowe's, presented Gold Bond President Mace Coleman with a pen-and-ink drawing of the first Lowe's store. The Gold Bond logo was prominently displayed by the store's front door.

Along with the gift was a note from Griffin: "You have the most professional people in the industry, and their ability to handle problems and opportunities is outstanding."


Founded in 1946, Lowe's has grown from a small hardware store in North Carolina to the second largest home improvement retailer worldwide and the 7th largest retailer in the U.S.

When the company started, Lowe's was a typical, small town hardware store selling everything from overalls and snuff to wash tubs, work boots and even horse collars.

By eliminating wholesalers and dealing directly with manufacturers, Lowe's established a lasting reputation for low prices.