Lowe’s announced last week that it has selected Charlotte, N.C. for a 2,000-employee global tech hub. The home improvement retailer said it's spending $153 million on the project. Lowe’s plans to create 1,600 jobs and bring about another 400 over from its headquarters office in nearby Mooresville, N.C. The retailer will be hiring for a number of roles, including software and infrastructure engineers, data scientists, analysts, architects, user experience and user interface professionals, and technologists with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) engineering experience, the company said.
Total Retail's Take: The competition for IT talent is intense in many industries, retail being one of them. Lowe's is looking to keep pace with the leader in the home improvement category, Home Depot, and amassing a pool of talented data and IT professionals, with specific expertise in AI and ML, figures to help its cause. With retailers relying on the analysis of vast amounts of data to better serve up the personalized experiences that today's consumers have come to expect from retailers and brands, AI and ML have become increasingly important. However, the technologies are only as good as the data put into it, which is why data engineers, scientists, analysts and others like them are not only in demand, but expensive to acquire and retain. Lowe's believes its new tech hub will help it become a more desired destination for that top talent.