I'm not a fan of these big-box franchise stores. Everywhere I see Home Depot, I can find a Lowe's nearby. The same goes for Dollar General and the Dollar Store, McDonald's and BK, Church's and KFC, etc, etc, etc. It's the epitome of over-development.
Lowes model was to drive out Home Depot so yes they built the stores in areas close to HD. They also tend to try and build wherever a Walmart goes up. They did not build in the Wisconsin and Minn areas until recently when Menards started moving into territory that Lowes was the leader in.