Lowe’s has finally put up its sign above the doorway of its new store on the corner of 68th street and Broadway, and the inside is stocked. The company says it will open its doors to the public on Monday, August 10, with a grand opening scheduled for September. (Update: the store now says it will open the week of August 17.)

lowes5The new store, at about 30,000 square feet, is much smaller than a traditional Lowe’s big box, but the company plans to entice urban consumers with a new style of store. The stores have less merchandise than your average suburban Lowe’s but they target the most pressing needs for contractors and consumers. A Bloomberg reporter called it “a mashup of a neighborhood hardware store and a remodeling studio crafted for connected urbanites.”

“Take the entrance, where a large touch screen shows home-improvement clips from the Vine video-sharing network. If shoppers want to see that day’s deals, a number is displayed for them to text. Customers then walk through eight small departments. Near the front is organization and storage, with moving boxes and ceiling bike racks — city essentials.

The seasonal area is dedicated to spicing up balconies. There’s a kitchen set that could fit into a tiny studio apartment, complete with an 18-inch dishwasher. And because people may be on their lunch break or in a rush after work, half a dozen employees will stand by with mobile checkout devices, providing a faster alternative to cash registers.”

With touch screens throughout the store, people can browse the entire inventory or grab one of the dozen or so models in the showroom.

The Upper West Side has fantastic small hardware stores, including Gartner’s on 72nd and Beacon Paint & Hardware near 78th, which could be impacted. But given the mix of products, this store might end up being more competition for the Gracious Home just one block away.

Photos by Mikey Schall.

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 82 comments | permalink
    1. Cato says:

      Thanks for giving us the Lowe-down.

    2. EgregiousPrice says:

      I hope Gracious Home goes out, the pricing is obnoxiously high

      • Walter Jacobsen says:

        A little competition shouldn’t really hurt anybody; Gracious Home is completely different from Home Depot! A brief walk-around will make that obvious. I’m sure the UWS can happily accommodate both stores, and we UWS residents can reap the benefits both have to offer. Who knows? Gracious might have to lower their prices to compete! Win Win, right?

    3. Kate says:

      So basically there is a Lowe’s in a spot where there was already a hardware store (on Amsterdam just a block away), a home furnishing store down the block (Gracious Home) and an even bigger home supply store another block away (Bed, Bath & Beyond).

      THIS is what they replaced the marvelous Food Emporium with?

      Fingers crossed business is bad and it goes under in a year or two.

      • Jeremy says:

        Don’t be mad at Lowe’s for occupying a vacant building. Maybe if *you* ate more stuff from Food Emporium, it could have stayed open.

        • james says:

          Food Emporium was a colossal rip-off and I’m glad to see it gone. High prices, bad produce, and a generic range of products makes for a bad shopping experience. Gartner’s is a rip-off, also. Yes, they’re a neighborhood shop. No, i don’t want to pay 4x as much for the same item just to keep them on the block.

          • neighbor says:

            I stopped shopping at Gartner a while ago. They just seem to lose it with prices, and the selection got worse and worse, and on two occasions I was deliberately ripped off. I think that the proponents of “neighborhood store’ will be the first shoppers at Lowes.

            • Benjamin David says:

              Gartners is awesome, has the best prices, and their staff is very knowledgeable from plumbing to hanging tv’s, to installing air conditioners. Their customer service is excellent. I have been to Lowe’s and their customer service is horrible

      • D.R. says:

        I hope that your wish doesn’t come true, Kate. I hurt for long at seeing Food Emporium struggling on 68th Street: The managers were very human to me, and I know that it’s painful to fail. The little guys too lost their jobs; I hope that they’re all okay by now. They tried everything to make a go of it; it just didn’t work.

        Now Lowe’s dares to invest here, spending fifteen months in constructing a store that they’re hoping will meet our neighborhood’s needs. So, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for them, and continue to admire their courage — especially given that they probably signed a lease with near-impossible rents.

      • neighbor says:

        I do hope that some day all Food Emporiums shut down and take Gristedes with them on the way out. The most expensive combined with the worst quality, with 1 out of 10 cashiers working…

      • Joe says:

        “…marvelous Food Emporium …”

        MARVELOUS? What planet do you live on?

      • Lis says:

        We miss the Food Emporium as well. It was not super-crowded (not like the cattle shove at Trader Joes or Fairway) and staff seemed pleasant. I know that my elderly neighbors miss it also as it was easier to get to and to navigate

      • JR says:

        What was marvelous about Food Emporium???

      • robert says:

        Gracious Home is not, at least there staff isn’t. They are not cheap.
        BB is paying a huge amount of $$$ for their space, when they came into the building on B’way the times had a big article and quoted their rent at aprox 250K a month, yes a month.

        Based on what they appear they are sell it seems they will be targeting people that want to do small projects and just basically spruce up their apts.

      • Sean says:

        The only people who went into that Food Emporium were local octogenarians.

        • lynn says:

          Let us know how well you do navigating around Fairway and/or Trader Joe’s when you’re older Sean. Personally I don’t have the time or energy to spend 30 minutes looking for a few items and then another 30 standing on line. I’ve unknowingly and purchased bad produce, meat and seafood at both of these stores, so I’m not even saving money at either place. Where do people shop now if they just need to grab a few things and not spend the day waiting on line?

          • Sean says:

            They call it a deli. And I am a senior! Fairway is simply familiar to you. Generally speaking retail is in a flux. I also expect someday a lot of the street level spaces in smaller properties will become maisonettes.

          • NativeNyer says:

            You said it Lynn. I picked up a container of chicken salad at Fairway last month. The label on the container read “May contain bones.”
            What?!! At least they put a warning on the label.

          • D.R.r says:

            In large drugstores, Lynn.

        • Lisa says:

          Actually people of all ages shopped there, including my kids in middle school doing grocery-shopping errands for our family.

      • Cyrus says:

        Kate, you’re hoping for a business to fail? How does that make any sense?

    4. Judy says:

      If they sell food, they’ll be very popular in the neighborhood. If they provide customer service, they’ll beat out Gracious Home, which got rid of customer service with their latest owner. The bar is low. Or Lowe, in this case.

      • Kate says:

        Why would a Lowe’s sell food? It’s an appliance and hardware store.

      • Cyrus says:

        It’s becoming clear to me that many of you don’t actually know what kind of store Lowe’s is. But that’s not stopping the complaints anyway…

    5. ScooterStan says:

      BEST reason to welcome (AND SUPPORT) the new LOEW’S?

      Because it is competition to Home Dirto…ooops, that’s Depot (although the former is more accurate, considering the disgusting quality of their stores).

      And WHY is Home Depot to be shunned?
      Because its founders (Langone and Marcus) ARE MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES!

      Langone has long been known for his right-wing beliefs, and Marcus, according to this past Sunday’s NY Times, supports NOT ONLY Bush-the-Bland BUT Wisconsin’s UNION-BUSTING GOVERNOR, SCOTT WALKER!

      “All politics is local”
      “Vote with your checkbook”

      • pmw says:

        What about all the bodegas and small shops owned by Muslims who are anti gay? What about that? Do you know the religious and political beliefs of every business owner around? Maybe you should do some research.

      • richard says:

        Stan you are a complete douche! Do some research on Bernie Marcus, Ken Langone and Arthur Blank, you will find these three are some of the country’s biggest philanthropists to such “radical” charities such as Autism Speaks, NYU, multiple Jewish charities, multiple disease focused charities, veteran support charities and multiple educational institutions. If you need medical care, make sure you don’t use a doctor affiliated with NYU Langone Medical School.
        The pinko-liberal propaganda is disgusting and needs to stop. Do some research before you rant next time.

        • Mark says:

          Goodness me!. Looks like there are ranting drama queens from both sides of the political spectrum hanging about.
          Calm down ladies. Fluff up your hoop skirts, let go of your pearls, and relax.

      • neighbor says:

        People who provide honest business and serve the customer are good people, you zealot. If you believe that everyone is as mush of a chest beater as you, wake up. What if someone boycotts businesses that support the extreme left wing nazis?

      • Nathan says:

        I never knew this. I guess I’ll be shopping at Home Depot more now. Even if I’m not in the market for anything I’ll make sure to stop by and spend a few dollars for things I don’t need.

      • Anon says:

        They support republican candidates? Oh the horror. gotta love how Stan champions diversity of thoughts and beliefs here. He must be a liberal 🙂

      • UWS-er says:

        Psst…Lowe’s, not Loew’s. Difference between a home improvement store and a movie theater.

      • Joe says:

        Actually Stan to be accurate, Ken Langone helped two of the four actual Home Depot founders raise the funds to start the business. I don’t know how much he was involved in active management, though until recently he sat on the board of directors. This piece tells a lot about behind-the-scene machinations there:


        Langone’s far-right politics alone would never be enough for me to boycott a store. As long as Home Depot has what I need, the prices are reasonable and the service is good (all which I’ve found most of the time going to 23rd St. over the years), I will continue to shop there.

        If the store’s policies itself were vile — Hobby Lobby for example — then it would be a far different story.

        Langone in recent years seems to be focusing his energy on amassing naming rights. He’s succeeded beyond imagination with NYC Medical (and many other parts of the university).

        For a few years now, he’s had his eye on that large Gothic cathedral at 5th and 50th, beseeching others for big contributions for repairs and throwing in a few of his bucks. But who knows how well he’s getting along right now with the cardinal who’s been moderating a bit in anticipation of Pope’s visit. Langone has gone on record as very critical of Francis!

        And besides with Dolan and Langone, you got one person who’s often mistaken for Chuckles and the other with a permanent scowl on his face. Someone once suggested Langone could be great stand-in for Frank Langella if the actor ever plays the Transylvanian count again!

        So what else can Langone get his name on? I think all the stadiums, parks, bridges and other big structures are spoken for.

        Maybe that’s why Langone was (still is?) Chris Christie’s biggest backer? I’m sure by now the charm of that venture has worn off. And besides, would they have allowed 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to be called “The Langone House”?

        Is there any other candidate that would catch Langone’s eye? Maybe Rick Santorum, who of course doesn’t have prayer! At least Ken and Rick could have teamed up for midnight “morals patrol,” shining flashlights in bedrooms!

      • JR says:

        ScotterStan: I should not support a local business that provides much needed jobs in the neighborhood because they support republicans? I should only support businesses that support Democrats? You are just as bad as the right-wingers. Close-minded and intolerant.

        • ScooterStan says:

          Re: “ScotterStan”

          A wee bit of a mistake, eh!

          ‘Tis ScOOter, NOT ScoTTer!

          Not from the UK, dinna like Haggis, and me look terrible in a kilt!

      • robert says:

        As Obleix would say “yeh gods and little boarlets”. You should really take a look in your own back yard before a post like this. I guess you didn’t vote for our current city hall team, the are very much in with the real estate and insurance industry’s pockets. Take a look at Stringers history of contributions over the past years at the cities campaign finance boards website. I pick on him as he was our assembly member and then BP. The $$$ are listed next to the names as well as the persons position and employer. If all politics is local and you hate biz as much as you seen, after seeing where de Balz and co get their $$$ I guess you will be joining the majority of NY’ers in 2017 and electing a republican mayor.
        All kidding aside, having lived on the UWS all my life, almost 50 years, I have to laugh at this type of comment.
        If people on the UWS were really concerned with keeping mom & pop stores B&N would not be packed all the time and Eyor’s would still be around. There also would be more small BBQ’s and delis not huge Fresh Direct Deliveries, Harry’s shoes would sell a lot more without UWSers buying from Zapos and don’t get me started on the amount of stuff people buy from amazon!!

        It all just strikes me as hypocritical when the folk that were fighting to stop the CVS coming into the former East River Savings Bank building on Mon, were in there shopping the day it opened. Just one of many examples.

    6. Gretchen says:

      About time the UWS has a real full-service home improvement store. The little hardware stores don’t cut it when you need to buy stuff like plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, construction materials and a huge array of other stuff. Gracious Homes sells some of this but at exorbitant prices with a limited selection, so I end up driving out to a Home Depot in the burbs to find what I’m looking for. As for Food Emporioum, its parent company, A&P is in deep trouble and probably couldn’t afford to pay the rent.

      • RF says:

        I think maybe the perceived necessity of this store depends on whether you rent or own. I’m a renter, and in my ten years on the UWS, I can’t say I’ve ever needed to buy plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, or construction materials. (If I need a lamp or something, I order online anyway to avoid lugging it home.) The things I’d buy at a hardware store (lightbulbs, picture hooks, etc.) are readily available at the smaller stores in the neighborhood, as well as at BB&B and Gracious Home. I just can’t see needing to visit a big hardware store very often, which is why I wish something a bit more useful had moved into the spot instead–if it has to be a big box, Target would’ve been a better choice.

    7. Andrew says:

      The Home Depot on 23rd is pretty decent and not dirty at all, not sure where you’re getting that.

      And word to the prices and lack of customer service at Gracious Home. I love the merch but the prices are ridiculous.

      I probably will still shop at the hardware store on my corner (at 102 and Broadway) but will check out the Lowe’s for home improvement ideas – if Lowe’s caters to New Yorkers with small apartments (isn’t that just about everyone?) then it’ll be a big hit.

    8. Ed says:

      Ok, once again you people miss the point. What’s most important here is how good is their “nail salon”? <——Get it? nail salon?
      I crack myself up sometimes.

    9. Lucien Desar says:

      I still wish that it was a food coop instead, it would add to the neighborhood. I suspect that contractors might go to Lowes if they are in a pinch for something they need right away but I met most of them will get there materials in NJ or outside of the city where the prices are lower and less sales tax.

      But hey- at least it’s not a drugstore or a bank! 🙂

    10. Nothing can beat the service and competent staff at Beacon Paint and Hardware. As a long time resident of 77th Street, I know I can always rely on Bruce or any one of the incredibly knowledgable staff who work there. Moreover, Beacon Paint IS part of the neighborhood and give generously as well as support charities.
      All this to say, it’s essential that we Upper West Siders support our Mom and Pop shops–the very shopkeepers who have stood by and helped us for all these years.

    11. Marlene Rosen says:

      Forget about trying to get real service at Lowe’s – Stick with Beacon Paint and Hardware, 371 Amsterdam Ave. bet 77th and 78th. You will not be disappointed!!!!!!!!!!

    12. cj berk says:

      We NEED a supermarket -86th st got a gorgeous Morton Williams. Forget Food Emporium-we just need a decent calm place to shop for food.
      As for Gracious home-remember when they WERE
      Gracious? Free delivery-customer service etc.
      Landlord greed…hope Karma gets you.

      • richard says:

        What does “landlord greed” have to do with bad customer service? Oh, that’s right, it’s just a standard throwaway phrase everyone here uses to complain about something.

        • cjberk says:

          To Richard:
          Obviously you don’t read. Landlord greed is the reason stores close and Banks etc open.
          It’s all about the money. Everyone knows it’S just a fact of life in NYC.

          • Jay says:

            So, if you owned property you would rent it out below what others are willing to pay?

            I don’t believe that for a second…

    13. Helen Murphy says:

      we will be having a lowes on 19thst and 6th ave early sept cant wait.

    14. Murray says:

      Give me a mediocre supermarket (practical, convenient, useful, necessary) over a hardware super-store (unnecessary in a city setting) any day. I guarantee that at some point nearly every single resident in a 5-6 block radius stopped by the F.E., if not for all their food needs, then just to pick up some things. Very few locals will ever set foot in this Lowes.

      • Cato says:

        Sorry, all you Upper West Siders who have expressed excitement at the opening of this new Lowe’s: You have to move out of the neighborhood. You can’t be “locals” anymore.

      • Sprinkles says:

        Unnecessary? Do you think repairmen and contractors get their supplies by clicking their heels together three times?

    15. Scott says:

      Can’t wait for Lowe’s. I hope they do it right, with plenty of construction materials including ceramic tile and lumber. Problem with Home Depot’s city locations is that they don’t stock these things, it’s a mere shell of what a HD should be. So I have to schlep to Hackensack every time I need tile. I’ll be at Lowe’s Aug. 10 with high hopes!

      • Gretchen says:

        Totes! I’m with you 100%. And BTW I’m a renter — not an owner — but still like to pimp my crib MY WAY — especially when the landlord would buy the cheapest fixtures that fell off a truck on the Jersey Tpke. After all, whether you own or rent, it’s your home.

    16. Christina says:

      Yay! Can’t wait! Excited! About time! 🙂

    17. Chris says:

      Can not wait. I will not have to cab it to Home depot on the east side ever again

    18. Mark says:

      I will remain loyal to Beacon Paint & Hardware – their personal service, their dedication to the community, and their quirky good humor are assets beyond price in building a sustainable neighborhood. Bruce, Steve and the whole gang are what turns a collection of buildings into a community.

    19. Irony Alert says:

      Irony Alert: All the people excited about this Lowes are the same people bemoaning that the UWS is becoming a suburban NJ strip-mall.

      • Christina says:

        Uh No! You’re wrong there Irony Alert!!! Rather have a Lowes than a Bank. As a lot of people point out, change is unavoidable, so might as well be something useful. There really aren’t too many mom and pops left to be upset about driving out of the area. The one place it might hurt is Gracious Home, and who cares about that?! They’re way overpriced anyway!

      • Scott says:

        I would never complain if Wawa or In n Out Burger came to the UWS. But I would complain if more Gristede’s opened up!

    20. D.R. says:

      When I headed toward Lowe’s this a.m., I noticed some people walking out with nice hanging potted plants that, I assume, the store had given away.
      Starting on Monday, Lowe’s will open at 6:00 a.m. each morning, an employee told me. It’s hard to believe that this will apply to weekends also.

    21. S. Louie says:

      Gracious Home has ungraciously high prices!

      Remember folks..the UWS is still about 50% rent stabilized and fixed income as the people who lived here in the 70s and 80s are in retirement. They know you don’t leave those rent controlled/rent stabilized units!

    22. D.R. says:

      I just walked past Lowe’s. It looks as though they will NOT open tomorrow.

      A sign in the window reads something to the effect that they “hope to open on August 17th.”

    23. Dorothy says:

      Sign posted on Lowe’s main entrance now says that the store will open the week of August 17th.

      • D.R. says:

        Thanks for the correction, Dorothy. The sign states that they *hope* to open the *week* of August 17th (not necessarily August 17).

    24. Mark says:

      Excited for the new Lowe’s! But could the signage BE any uglier? And only on the Broadway side… blank nothingness on the brown wrap-around marquee that most will (not) see while actually walking up/down Broadway. God I’m nit-picky. Just an observation! 🙂

    25. Yaseen says:

      Lowe’s is very expensive and does not have good customer service. They do not know anything. Regular keys are $3, where as the hardware stores make them for $1.99 like Gartners. Lowe’s only have a few keys maybe 5 at max. The employees are inexperienced, and do not know anything about plumbing, electrical or paint selection.