With new homes springing up in the local area, each day, it's not surprising that Lowe's chose Chantilly as the site of its newest store.
The 118,000-square-foot business officially opens next Wednesday, March 31, in the Sully Place Shopping Center. It's where Service Merchandise used to be, but was built new — from the ground up — and is already generating excitement.
"We've already got a lot of customers pounding on the door to get in," said operations manager Scott O'Toole of Centreville's Chalet Woods community. "And all my neighbors are asking, 'When, when, when?' They're anxious for us to open."
IN RESPONSE, said Jack Osteen, commercial sales specialist, staff is working 'round the clock to get things ready. The store has 200-plus employees — 80 percent, full-time. "Every, single area we have is covered by a specialist and their assistants," he said. "They have lots of experience and are experts in their fields."
"A lot of our people live in the community, so it'll be nice to have their friends and families shopping with us," said O'Toole. "Everyone here is committed to working together to be successful. We're more of a family, than just employees. That builds a tremendous store and environment and makes it more fun."
It's at 13856 Metrotech Drive; phone 703-376-6300. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. And customers will be hard-pressed not to find what they need here.
"Lowe's has something for everyone — homeowners, small builders, contractors and interior designers," said O'Toole. "And with our special-order business, we can offer 500,000 items."
Merchandise comes in all price ranges; chandeliers, for example, sell for $39.95 to $2,500. And Lowe's has individual "fashion areas" for kitchens, bathrooms, lighting, flooring and home decor. "It's not just 2x4s and nuts and bolts," said O'Toole. "It's a place where people can visualize what the finished product will look like in their homes."
The kitchen-design center offers more than 250 appliances in stock, ranging from espresso makers to stainless-steel refrigerators, and shown in vignettes including cabinets and countertops.
The flooring area features natural tile, porcelain, ceramic, vinyl, hardwood and laminate products for every room. "All you do is pick it out and we do the rest," said O'Toole. "If we have it in stock, we could install it the next day."
The home-decor area features window treatments, blinds, shades, shutters, wallpaper and paint. Shades and blinds are custom-cut in the store. And, said Osteen, "We have a $70,000, computerized, paint machine that can literally match any color." Added Andrea Leddy, paint-department manager: "You can bring in, for example, a piece of siding — even a paint chip from your car or wall — and we'll scan it and color-match it."
Lowe's also has a virtual-painter computer, allowing customers to see what different colors in different brands would look like on their walls, before buying anything. Said Leddy: "You can print out a slip showing you which wall you selected to paint, the paint brand, color number and name."
THE STORE offers brands including Alexander Julian, Earth Elements, Waverly and Laura Ashley Home. "We even have Nickelodeon paint, so you could get, for example, SpongeBob yellow or Dora the Explorer orange," said O'Toole. "And we sell matching room-decorating kits."
Pella doors and windows are a specialty, available in a wide variety of styles and materials. The fashion bath area also contains items appealing to virtually all tastes and pocketbooks. A marble vanity top and sink with oak drawers costs $560, while a gray-green, tempered-glass sink with black wrought iron base, matching mirror and faucet sells for $1,542.
Salespeople are ready to help, or customers may look at an item's label and see where to find it easily in the store. "And people can take home samples of flooring, wallpaper, siding and paint to see how they look in their house," said Osteen.
Furthermore, at the interactive project-center, customers may learn how to do projects such as build a desk, divide a room, repair concrete, apply asphalt shingles, etc. "You could actually design your own deck on the computer, get a materials list, learn how to build it and print it out," said O'Toole. "It tells everything from how many nails and hangers you'll need to where they'll go," added Osteen.
And, of course, Lowe's sells lumber, tools and equipment, electrical and plumbing supplies, hardware, insulation and siding. There's even a garden center. Commercial customers may order things at the commercial project desk or via a dedicated line, 703-376-6328.
"If they call or fax [703-376-6301] by 6 p.m., we'll have it ready by 7 a.m., the next morning," said O'Toole. "But it they call and ask for Jack O., before 3 p.m., I'll have it ready to go within two hours," said Osteen. Lowe's will also deliver materials, if desired. Said O'Toole: "We have guaranteed, next-day delivery on any in-stock [merchandise]."
"Our people are sincere in their desire to help," said Osteen. And, added O'Toole, "You're not going to see a competitor with the service and selection we have here."