The nation’s second-largest home improvement chain and 14th-largest retailer said today it is adding 60 new stores in the greater New York City area over the next several years. The move is part of Lowe’s aggressive expansion into major metro markets across the U.S. It also means about $1 billion of new investment in the area and the creation of some 10,000 new jobs.

This week, Wilkesboro, N.C.-based Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) opens stores in Roosevelt Field, N.Y., and Holmdel, N.J., and begins construction on its first store on Staten Island. Stores are under construction at seven area locations, and several proposed sites are under contract pending final approvals from local planning and zoning boards. Stores in Medford, N.Y., and North Bergen, N.J., have opened in the last 10 months.

"Our New York City metro area expansion is based on the success of Lowe's in metro markets across the country and our initial success in the New York/New Jersey region," said Robert L. Tillman, Lowe's chairman and CEO. "Currently, the company's highest volume stores are in metropolitan markets. Our experience shows that metro markets are ripe for the Lowe's store concept and our strategy of providing top brands and services at competitive prices."

Lowe’s is in the midst of the most aggressive expansion plan in its 56-year history. The company plans to open 123 stores in 2002 and 130 in 2003. It is focusing much of its future growth on the largest markets in the United States, those with populations of 500,000 or more. Larger markets made up nearly 65% of Lowe's expansion in 2001 and will comprise a similar percentage of Lowe's growth in 2002.