CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Towering over Charlotte’s South End is the new Lowe’s Tech Hub.
The plan to build the 25-story building was announced in 2019. Before it was built, the company’s tech team worked out of Lowe’s headquarters in Mooresville.
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“It was important for us to be in an urban environment that was an environment that was highly enticing for folks to come from other tech hubs throughout the country,” Director of Technology and Business Management Randy Alexander said.
Lowe’s Tech Organization uses the top 15 floors of the building. That’s where high-tech products like online shopping technology and gadgets for associates are built.
“We really want to make our associates’ lives and jobs as frictionless as possible,” Sr. Director of Creative Technology at Lowe’s Innovation Mason Sheffield said.
One of the most recent devices created is the ‘Augmented Associate. What looks like a fancy pair of sunglasses allows store associates to see isles through augmented reality.
“What it does is it gives store managers and associates who are wearing it sort of a superpower. They can look at shelves and a real store and see overlayed a 3D replica with all of the data points about the product, where it should be, how is this one selling versus that one, and they can actually use that data like an x-ray vision to compare and contract and then make moves on the shelves,” Senior Director of Ecosystems at Lowe’s Innovation Labs Josh Shabtai said.
“With this product, I can walk up to any item and see details, so right now you can see colored boxes, each of those products with a colored box represents its sales performance,” Sheffield said.
Whether it’s hand-held printers, self-checkout machines, or glasses – the primary purpose of the technology built inside the tech hub is to enhance the customer and employee experience at all 1,700 stores and online.
“What that does is it redirects our associates to be helping customers,” Sheffield said.
About 2,400 tech associates work out of the building on an open office strategy. Workers can choose to work from home or the office.
“So, we’ve got more associates than seats in the building, knowing in today’s environment with a hybrid environment or open office, we will never have everyone all in at the same time,” Alexander said.
The building on West Worthington Ave also houses labs, game rooms, an auditorium, and a workspace.
The tech team also produced technology for finance, HR, and marketing.