REAL ESTATE

Lowe’s to close 51 stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Lowe’s Companies is closing 51 underperforming U.S. and Canadian stores as part of a “strategic assessment.”

The home improvement giant is closing 20 stores in the United States (the majority of which are located within 10 miles of another Lowe’s) and 31 in Canada in a move to improve the overall health of its store portfolio. The closures are expected to be completed by Feb. 1, 2019 (the end of the company’s 2018 fiscal year), with an anticipated impact on per-share earnings from 28 cents to 34 cents.

Lowe’s is in the midst of a restructuring under new CEO Marvin Ellison, who took the reins in July. In August, the company said it was pulling the plug on its Orchard Supply Hardware division — closing all 99 stores — in order to focus on its core home improvement warehouse model. Lowe’s is also working to rationalize store inventory and reduce lower-performing inventory while investing in increased depth of high velocity items,

“While decisions that impact our associates are never easy, the store closures are a necessary step in our strategic reassessment as we focus on building a stronger business,” said Ellison.

The retailer is planning to conduct store closing sales for most of the locations with the exception of select stores in the U.S., which will close immediately. Lowe’s has partnered with Hilco Merchant Services to help manage the process in the United States. Ellison said that most employees in the U.S. stores scheduled to close will be given the opportunity to move to a similar role at a nearby Lowe’s.

To see a list of the store locations that will be closing in the U.S. and Canada, click here.

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