Hall of  

Leonard G. Herring (June 18, 1927 - )
Inducted 1997
   Leonard Herring helped build Lowe's Companies from a small operation with few stores into one of the top hardware/building supply chain store chains in the U.S. 

 Junior Achievement
   Born on June 18, 1927, in Snow Hill, NC, Leonard Herring
   He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in commerce. He joined Weil Department Stores in Goldsboro and served as finance officer from 1948-1955.
   L. S. Lowe started a local builders supply store in 1921, later turning over the enterprise to his son, James. In 1952, James sold the company to his brother-in-law, Carl Buchan, who envisioned a chain of stores.
   Buchan began building a team and gradually opening more stores. He hired Pete Kulynch and then enticed Leonard Herring to join the growing firm.
   In 1955, Herring went to work for Lowe's as a finance officer and pension fund trustee. In 1956, Herring was named secretary and treasurer. 
   In 1960, Lowe's had 15 stores and annual sales of $30 million. Buchan died and the remaining five top executives, including Herring, decided to run the company through a committee.
   The company went public in October 1961. 
   He served on Lowe's management committee from 1960 to 1978. The company had grown to $800 million in annual sales and the executives decided that operations needed to be restructured. Herring became president and CEO of the company in 1978. Lowe's was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on December 19, 1979.
   Herring decided to grow the company by increasing its do-it-yourself retail business, while retaining the building supply market share. To build that market, Herring led the effort for a store department credit card (1979) and new store redesign (1980). In 1984, Lowe's began unveiling its larger store (24,000 sq. ft. which eventually grew to 100,000 sq. ft. in the 1990s.
   Herring retired from the company in 1996. By then, the company had grown to more than 365 stores and annual sales of more than $7 billion. 


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