Charlotte, N.C. Officials at Lowe's Cos. said it remains optimistic that conditions will improve despite a weak housing market and tight credit standards that have created a tough sales environment, according to the Associated Press.
Nevertheless, the company plans to delay the opening of about 20 new stores this year in several hard-hit markets, including California and Florida. Lowe's also will take a more conservative staffing approach as it hires seasonal workers to prepare for the busy spring season.
"We're not going to sacrifice long-term success to drive short-term results," Lowe’s president Larry Stone said. "For example, we're not going to cut staffing in our stores to the point that it impacts service. But we are managing payroll to the current sales environment.''
The U.S. economy has been hit with a record number of foreclosures, higher gasoline prices and talk of a recession. Stone said the "doom and gloom" has trickled down to consumers who are reluctant to spend on big projects.