Actually, since Lowes and other box stores depend on bringing plant material in from other growers, they have deals in place for damaged or dead plants. They get replaced or refunded. However, in that deal, they must discard the plants.
Here, Lowes sprays them bright orange on the outer container and mark them down. I think it offsets their loss, but I will also say the Lowes I shop at here in this neck of America have very good, informed staff and their nursery centers are immaculate and well kept all season. Not an easy thing to do in a box store...where, for the most part, gardeners don't shop.