• Wed. Sep 21st, 2022

Lowe's debuts digital twin technology to optimize stores – Charlotte Business Journal – The Business Journals


Sep 21, 2022

Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (NYSE: LOW) has debuted an interactive store technology in Charlotte that seeks to optimize operations and cater to customer needs.
The Mooresville-based retailer says that digital twin technology — a virtual replica of a physical store — makes it possible to visualize and interact with a store’s digital data to localize and improve store layouts.
“Through emerging technology, we are always imagining and testing ways to improve store operations and remove friction for our customers,” says Seemantini Godbole, Lowe’s executive vice president, chief digital and information officer.
Lowe’s is piloting the digital twin at its central Charlotte store on Iverson Way and at one in Mill Creek, Washington. The retailer says it could potentially roll the technology out at additional locations. It operates nearly 2,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Lowe’s has approximately 19 million customer transactions a week. It reported fiscal year 2021 sales of over $96 billion.
Lowe’s Innovation Labs Team built the technology, which was created in the NVIDIA Omniverse platform.
Lowe’s is using the digital twin to explore augmented reality, where a computer-generated image is superimposed on the user’s view of the real world. It combines spatial and other data, such as historical order information and product location, into a visual package. It can be accessed devices from desktop computers to Magic Leap 2 augmented-reality — or AR ­— headsets.
AR can provide reset and restocking support, with headsets used for store visualization, optimization or product placement simulation.
For example, an employee wearing an AR headset can see a hologram of Lowe’s digital twin overlaid atop the physical store. It’s possible to compare what a store shelf should look like versus actual layout, ensuring the right product mix and configuration. That stands to be beneficial in stores where frequent seasonal changes are made or in high-volume locations.
AR gives employees “X-ray vision” as well. It provides the ability gather and view information of a partially obscured cardboard box from ground level without needing to climb a ladder. Contents can be viewed via an AR overlay.
A collaboration feature lets employees make notes on the digital twin that can be used to improve the store layout.
Lowe’s can view and use sales performance and customer traffic data to enhance the in-store experience. It can track products frequently purchased together and find optimal placement for them.
Lowe’s continues to invest in technology to make the home-improvement experience simpler and more intuitive. Earlier this year, it added Measure Your Space to its app to help customers scan, measure and estimate their projects.
Its Lowe’s Tech Hub in South End looks to support those initiatives. That 357,000-square-foot tower opened last month.
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