Included among the closures are Lowe’s locations in Los Banos, Calif.; Westminster, Calif.; Biddeford, Maine; Ellsworth, Maine; Old Bridge, NJ; Batavia, NY; Denver, Colo; Ionia, Mich.; North Kingstown, RI; Aurora, Ill.; Oswego, Ill.; Rogers, Minn.; Emporia, Va.; South Tacoma, Wash.; Chalmette, La.; Brown Deer, Wisc.; Haverhill, Mass.; Hooksett, NH; Claremont, NH; and Manchester, NH.
Ten locations were closed at the end of business Sunday, Oct. 16, and the remaining 10 locations will close within approximately one month, following an inventory sell-through.
Approximately 1,950 employees will be affected by these closings. Employees will receive pay and benefits for 60-90 days. In addition, Lowe’s will be working with local government agencies to help employees with outplacement assistance.
The local manager of Lowe’s in Wheelersburg deferred all comments to the company’s corporate office of media relations.
“The announcement affects only the 20 stores that we’ve indicated, and that does not include the Wheelersburg, Ohio, store,” said Steve Salazar, Lowe’s media spokesperson. “We don’t have any further announcements about store closings at this time, but what I can tell you is that we’ll continue to evaluate our operating model and manage our business profitably for our shareholders and employees.”
He said the company didn’t see the necessary profitability progress at the 20 targeted locations. The company is also slowing its number of new store development projects in 2012 and beyond.
“We did perform a review of the company’s pipeline of stores and we had originally planned to open 30 stores per year, and the company now plans to open about 10 to 15 store per year in the future,” Salazar said.
Founded in 1946, there are more than 1,700 Lowe’s home improvement stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. According to Salazar, Lowe’s first opened a location in Wheelersburg in 1978. The current Lowe’s store location, on Ohio River Road in Wheelersburg, opened in 1996 and has 145 employees.
In fiscal year 2010 the company reported sales of $48.8 billion and are the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.