Lowes supermarkets have long been a hotbed for price wars, with a large share of the industry’s sales now being driven by a “one price” strategy.
That’s led to frequent price hikes for a range of items, from clothing and shoes to televisions and electronics.
This time last year, the retailer saw its most dramatic price increase since 2014.
The price war has escalated into an even larger fight this time, with Lowes claiming the equivalent of almost 10% of its sales are going up in price.
In the past, retailers like Walmart and Target have used the Amazon strategy to drive up prices for items they don’t have on their shelves, or to drive down prices on items they do.
But this time Lowes is claiming a whopping 15% of the stores it sells are seeing prices rise, according to data compiled by the Financial Times.
With a total of nearly 4.2 million Lowes stores, that means a whopping 75% of them are seeing a price hike.
Lowes said the increase was driven by “significant increases in retail inventory” as a result of the price war, as well as an “increased level of demand for products in the grocery market”.
“This is the most severe price escalation we have seen in recent years,” said Lowes chairman and CEO Michael Stryk.
“Our retail customers are being asked to pay higher prices for goods we have not seen for some time.
Our prices will continue to rise.”
“The price of goods has increased in the past several months, and this is just the beginning of the impact.”
A number of retailers have announced price increases as well.
Walmart has doubled the price of some products, including groceries and household essentials, and reduced prices for some items like shampoo and hair conditioner.
Target has said it will raise prices on some items, including electronics and household appliances, to reflect the rising costs of goods.
And Walmart has reduced the price for some of its staples, including milk and eggs.
Lowes also said it was planning to raise prices for “certain products” at some stores this week, including certain non-essential items, and for certain items that have been discontinued.
“We have been forced to raise our prices and cut back on some of our essentials and services,” said Stryker.
A recent report by retail analyst IDC suggested that the Amazon pricing war has created a “significant price escalation” in retail, with an “incredible level of uncertainty” for retailers and consumers.
“It’s hard to say if the Amazon-led price war will continue for another year or not,” IDC analyst Peter Cushing told CNBC earlier this month.
But that could change with the announcement of the Amazon Prime Day price hike later this month, which will boost sales at Lowes by nearly 10%.
The rise in prices may not be permanent, however.
Walmart’s decision to increase prices was met with strong opposition from some retailers.
“The retailers are trying to get higher than the norm,” said Wendy Cordero, an analyst at consultancy Retail.com.
“They are trying and they are not getting anywhere.
We have to be clear, we’re not going to stop our prices going up.”
The rise has also led to speculation that Lowes may be looking to expand its grocery business.
According to the Financial Post, the supermarket said it expects to raise its prices on “food items that we have never had before” in the coming months.