Lowe's Companies, Inc. , doing business as Lowe's, is an American retail company specializing in home improvement. Headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, the company operates a chain of retail stores in the United States, and Canada. As of November 2018, Lowe's and its related businesses operate over 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores in North America. Lowe's is the second-largest hardware chain in the United States behind rival The Home Depot and ahead of Menards. It is also the second-largest hardware chain in the world, also behind The Home Depot but ahead of European retailers Leroy Merlin, B&Q, and OBI.