Lowe's is an American chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores that has retail stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Founded in 1946 in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the chain has 1,754 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Expansion into Canada began in 2007, with the opening of a store in Hamilton, Ontario, in early 2008. Lowe's started the construction of two stores in the Mexican city of Monterrey officially entering the Mexican market. In 2011 Lowe's released plans to build over 150 stores in Australia (as Masters Home Improvement) over the next five years, hoping to compete with the A$46 billion industry. Lowe's Companies, Inc. is 43rd on the Fortune 500 list. As of 2010, the chain is based in Mooresville, North Carolina. Lowe's is the second-largest hardware chain in the United States, behind The Home Depot and ahead of Menards. Globally, Lowe's is also the second-largest hardware chain, again, behind The Home Depot and ahead of the European stores B&Q and OBI.