Lowe’s to Shut Down 20 Stores, Layoff Nearly 2,000

Earlier today, Lowe’s, the world’s second-largest home-improvement chain, announced that it will close 20 of its underperforming U.S. stores by the end of next month.

The store closings, part of the company’s plan to “improve profitability” and “strengthen its financial position” after a second-quarter performance that had fallen short of expectations, will reportedly affect about 1,950 employees.

According to MSNBC, ten of the twenty stores were closed on Sunday and the remaining ten will be shut down within a month.

Before the closures Lowe’s, based in Mooresville, N.C., operated a total of 1,725 stores.

“Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on hard-working employees and local communities,” Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a news release.

In addition to the closings, Niblock also revealed his company’s would be cutting back on the number of planned new stores and now expects to open 10 to 15 locations a year in North America starting in 2012, down from a previous plan of about 30 stores a year.

The Home Depot, Lowe’s’ main competitor, has had stronger same-store sales than Lowe’s for nine straight quarters.

Lowe’s says the downsizing moves will cost it 17 to 20 cents per share in 2011.

Below is the full list of the Lowe’s stores that will be closing in 2011:

  1. Los Banos, CA
  2. Biddeford, ME
  3. Old Bridge, NJ
  4. Westminster, CA
  5. Ellsworth, ME
  6. Batavia, NY
  7. Denver, CO
  8. Ionia, MI
  9. N. Kingstown, RI
  10. Aurora, IL
  11. Rogers, MN
  12. Emporia, VA
  13. Oswego, IL
  14. Claremont, NH
  15. S. Tacoma, WA
  16. Chalmette, LA
  17. Hooksett, NH
  18. Brown Deer, WI
  19. Haverhill, MA
  20. Manchester, NH

via WSJ

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