Lowe's announces 20 store closings

Lowe's will slow down its expansion.

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's said today it is closing 20 underperforming stores in 15 states and slowing down its rate of new-store development. Ten locations have already shuttered, while the remaining 10 will be closed in about a month, after closing sales.

"Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on hard-working employees and local communities,” said Robert Niblock, chairman, president and CEO. “However, we have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position."

The stores are affected by the closing are in Los Banos, Calif.; Westminster, Calif.; Denver; Aurora, Ill.; Oswego, Ill.; Chalmette, La.; Haverhill, Mass.; Biddeford, Maine; Ellsworth, Maine; Ionia, Mich.; Rogers, Minn.; Claremont, N.H.; Hooksett, N.H.; Manchester, N.H.; Old Bridge, N.J.; Batavia, N.Y.; N. Kingstown, R.I.; Emporia, Va.; S. Tacoma, Wash.; and Brown Deer, Wis. 

Meanwhile, the company said it is slowing down its rate of new store openings and canceling some projects that were in the pipeline. Instead of a new store-opening rate of about 30 per year, Lowe's expects to open 10 to 15 new stores per year in North America starting in 2012. 

The company expects to recognize total exit costs related to the store closings and discontinued projects of $100 million to $130 million. About 1,950 jobs will be lost.

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