To support Lowe’s growing retail and internet sales it was determined by management that there was a need for a new customer support center to be located in the western United States. The new center is needed to provide multiple support functions for Lowe’s; including customer care, store support, internet sales support and repair services for customers. The new Customer Support Center is designed to complement the company’s existing Customer Support Center located in Wilkesboro, N.C.
Lowe’s initial search included over 32 cities in the Western United States. REA was retained by Cushman and Wakefield to assist in a real estate/occupancy search for this requirement in Albuquerque. In order to be competitive against other cities Tom immediately began to identify and pursue economic incentives from both the City and the State. Tom also had to identify and compile competitive advantages for Albuquerque in order to communicate to Lowe’s reasons it should select Albuquerque as its new location.
After identifying numerous suitable locations for Lowe’s consideration, Tom conducted a series of meetings with the City and State to put together a viable economic incentive package.
The real estate component was solved with a long-term lease for an existing building that was originally constructed as an On-Line Customer Support Center. Simultaneously, the team worked 1) to gather information on the cost of labor and doing business in New Mexico to aid Lowe’s in putting together a cost comparison analysis between Albuquerque and other potential cities; 2) with the State of New Mexico to secure Lowe’s a substantial contribution from the State of New Mexico in the form of “in-plant” training program for its approximately 650 new jobs and employees at the facility; and 3) with the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County for approval of the issuance of Industrial Revenue Bonds through the County of Bernalillo for the abatement of personal and property taxes over the next 10 years.