Lowe's Companies Inc was incorporated in North Carolina in 1952 and has been publicly held since 1961. It is a Fortune(r) 100 company and a home improvement retailer. As of January 31, 2014, Lowe's operated 1,832 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing approximately 200 million square feet of retail selling space. The Company serves homeowners, renters and commercial business customers (Pro customer). Individual homeowners and renters complete projects and vary along the spectrum of do-it-yourself (DIY) and do-it-for-me (DIFM). The Pro customer consists of two categories, construction trade and maintenance & repair organizations. The Company is among, the many businesses, including home centers, paint stores, hardware stores, lumber yards and garden centers, whose revenues are included in the Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers Subsector (444) of the Retail Trade Sector of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. The Company offers home improvement products in categories such as Kitchens & Appliances; Lumber & Building Materials; Tools & Hardware; Fashion Fixtures; Rough Plumbing & Electrical; Lawn & Garden; Seasonal Living; Paint; Home Fashions, Storage & Cleaning; Flooring; Millwork; and Outdoor Power Equipment. Lowe's store carries a selection of national brand-name merchandise such as Whirlpool(r) appliances and water heaters, GE(r) and Samsung(r), appliances, Stainmaster(r) carpets, Valspar(r) paints and stains, Pella(r) windows and doors, Sylvania(r) light bulbs, Dewalt(r) power tools, Owens Corning(r) roofing, Johns Manville(r) insulation, James Hardie(r) fiber cement siding, Husqvarna(r)outdoor power equipment, Werner(r)ladders and many more. Its merchandise selection provides the DIY, DIFM and Pro customer a one-stop shop for national brand name merchandise needed to complete home improvement, repair, maintenance or construction projects. The Company sources its products from over 7,000 vendors. It has multiple channels through which the company engages its customers and sells products and services, including in-store, online, on-site and contact centers. It competes with other home improvement warehouse chains and lumberyards in its trade areas. It also competes with traditional hardware, plumbing, electrical and home supply retailers. In addition, it competes, with respect to some of its products, with general merchandise retailers, mail order firms, warehouse clubs, online and other specialty retailers.