In recent news (Aug 2019), Lowe's publicized it was laying off store workers who handle certain maintenance and product assembly tasks as the home-improvement chain continues to cut costs in a bid to boost profits.
The chain confirmed that it is moving to outsource assemblers and facility services to allow Lowe’s store associates to spend more time on the sales floor serving customers.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the number of layoffs is in the "thousands" and described the affected workers as including workers who "put together grills, wheelbarrows and other products."
Those positions are being outsourced to a third-party company. Some of these affected workers will move to other positions, others may not qualify and have to find jobs elsewhere.
In Feb 2019, Home Depot announced they were laying off staff in their installation business. After reviewing the installation business, they decided to wind down its roofing, siding, insulation, and gutters installation programs. They also are using 3rd party contractors and outsourcing these functions. They still sell these items.
In both examples, these moves are about cutting cost to increase profit and shareholder value.
Mooresville, North Carolina-based Lowe's has about 300,000 employees and about 2,200 stores. www.Lowes.com
Atlanta, Georgia based Home Depot has about 400,000 employees and about 2,286 stores. www.HomeDepot.com
Their business decision to outsource these functions provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to start installation businesses, or for existing contractors and handymen to pick up staff and get some of this business from these home improvement behemoths.
Additionally, mobile apps should see some uptick in requests for items to be assembled or installed if the 3rd party contractors hired by Home Depot and Lowes are slow to respond to buyers or are too busy to come quickly to the aid of a homeowner or renter.