Lowe's to Shut 51 Underperforming Stores in US, Canada

A Lowe's store in Hialeah Fla. on Wednesday

Lowe’s closing underperforming stores

Lowe's says it is closing 31 locations, including 27 of its under-performing Lowe's and Rona stores across Canada.

The store closures are expected to have a financial impact of 28-34 cents per diluted share, Lowe's said.

The company, which operates about 1,800 US stores and 300 in Canada, said it expects the closures to be completed by February, with the exception of some USA stores that are closing immediately.

In a release, the company states most of the impacted stores are within 16 kilometres of another Lowe's store.

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The company says it will give associates opportunities to transition to other stores.

While Lowe's is far smaller and less exposed to the presence of Amazon and other online sellers, the closures follow a wave of similar moves by traditional US retailers in the face of greater online competition.

Lowe's is closing 51 underperforming stores across the US and Canada.

Lowe's now operates a total of 2,390 home improvement and hardware stores. As recently as August, Lowe's held a job fair for the store. Lowe's said employees in the affected stores were notified of the closures Sunday evening.

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He said the company has also been facing fierce competition from fellow home improvement businesses Home Depot Inc. and Canadian Tire Inc. and to some extent, Costco Wholesale Corp. and Walmart Inc., which are "extremely powerful" and stock some home and garden products.

The expected financial impact of today's announcement of $0.28 to $0.34 per diluted share was not contemplated in the business outlook for fiscal 2018 which the company provided on August 22 when it released its second quarter earnings.

Under Ellison, the company has also eliminated four senior positions, while creating two new senior roles for stores and supply chain. The priority for Lowe's right now, he said, is improving basic "retail fundamentals".

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