Spotlight On: Stephan Lowy, CEO, Lowy’s Moving Service

Spotlight On: Stephan Lowy, CEO, Lowy’s Moving Service

2022-07-13T08:07:59-04:00February 22nd, 2022|Economy, North & Central Jersey, Spotlight On|

Stephan Lowy Lowy's Moving Service2 min read February 2022 Lowy’s Moving Service is a 98 year old highly experienced residential and commercial mover in the metropolitan area. Lowy’s has handled over 750,000 household moves, along with 250,000 commercial and office relocations on the local, interstate and international levels. In an interview with Invest:, CEO Stephan Lowy discussed the challenges and opportunities for the company, service demand and the company’s outlook for the next few years.

What are some of the opportunities and challenges for the firm?

I see many opportunities. To get them, you must be able to make quick decisions while taking calculated risks. A lot of people want to avoid making choices but we prefer to decide and then try to execute. If it works, it works; if not, we are going to recognize it, shift gears quickly and move onto the next thing. We are a very diversified business today because of our ability to discover opportunities and design a structure around them. I count on change. Everything is constantly changing, so if you know that change is going to happen you are never disappointed. 

What locations are experiencing the most demand?

Monmouth County is one of the Top 5 wealthiest counties in NJ. It hosts 10 very affluent communities in New Jersey: Fairhaven, Little Silver, Rumson, Spring Lake, Deal, Colts Neck, Holmdel, Manasquan, Avon, Long Branch. These are amazing communities that probably hold the top 10% of the state’s wealth. New Jersey welcomes a total of 86.4 million people a year in tourism and we receive around 30 million people up and down the Jersey Shore. People don’t want to be in the city, they don’t want to commute, they would rather be able to look into the ocean while they work. Areas like the Hamptons are built out but the Jersey Shore still has some beautiful property to develop, so they are coming here. We are the Hamptons of the Jersey Shore.

How is the labor shortage impacting your business?

We are very fortunate, we have approximately 40 really amazing employees and most have been with us for a long time. We can get any project done with them. We have procured some of the largest office relocations in the state of New Jersey. In years past we completed a 1-million-square-foot office move but, today, it is less common to see moves of that size, so we don’t need as many people. We have the resources and understand how to do an office or a residential move efficiently and safely.

However, there is definitely a shortage out there. We pay our team members really well; they are our eyes and ears out there but most importantly they are our family. Many of our employees have been here for a long time, from five years to 40 years. This job is not for everybody because not everyone wants to lift a piano up three flights of stairs. It is hard to find people but, thankfully, we have them. If you want good people, and you want to keep them, you have to take care of them.

What is the main difference between the pre- and post-pandemic eras?

Pre-pandemic the supply chain was considered a convenience; post pandemic disruption shed a light on the necessity of a strong and diversified supply chain. We are probably headed into a recession but, for me, that means more opportunities. Whenever our business is a little slow, which isn’t often, it means that things are going one of two ways: the economy is either getting better or the economy is getting worse. Better means people are moving into bigger houses or out of the state. Worse means people must store their things but they are still moving. In good and bad times, people are always moving. This is what is happening right now; a shift is about to happen.

I’ve been through six recessions and the important factor is to be prepared. Our company is ready, we are streamlined and efficient. We are ready to navigate any economic shifts. New Jersey has a 2% vacancy rate in warehousing. The rates are incredibly high but those of us that have warehouse space are seeing a lot of business because it is becoming increasingly challenging to find storage space. 

What is your near-term outlook?

The one thing about the pandemic is that you can no longer plan several years ahead. You must look at it on a monthly and yearly basis; you can’t really look three years out. The next couple of months are going to be good, although eventually, we are going to see a recession. Thankfully, my business is prepared to handle it. I think this year could be challenging but it is going to result in another good five years. 

How involved in the community is your company?  

Eleven years ago, we started Move for Hunger, our philanthropic initiative, with the hopes of helping our local community. It started as a way to gather nonperishables from our clients on their moving day, dropping them off at the local food bank. 

That simple strategy turned into collecting 500 to 1,000 pounds of food every month. Since then, we have collected over 15 million pounds of food. 

Move For Hunger is a national non-profit organization that has created a sustainable way to reduce food waste and fight hunger. We have mobilized the leaders of moving, relocation, and multi-family industries to provide their customers, clients, and residents with the opportunity to donate their food when they move. 

We are passionate about this project, especially because food insecurity is at an all-time high, and 40% of the people living with food insecurity are children.

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