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Lowe’s announces 20 store closings

BY Ken Clark

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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Operation Homefront gets infusion from Home Depot

BY Ken Clark

San Antonio, Texas-based Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization providing emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors, has received a $750,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation.

The gift will help wounded veterans with home projects and to help repair, rehabilitate and retrofit homes of veterans around the country. 

In addition to funding, Team Depot, The Home Depot’s associate-led volunteer force, will lend a hand with the projects.  

The grant also will help provide transitional family housing for Wounded Warriors leaving the military due to their injuries through the Operation Homefront Village programs near Washington, D.C., San Antonio and San Diego.



“We are committed to ensuring that every veteran has a safe place to call home,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation. “Operation Homefront is one of the key organizations working to address the needs of injured service members and their families, and we are honored to help them increase their capacity to serve those who have served us all.” 

The gift is part of Home Depot’s "Celebration of Service" campaign to honor U.S. military veterans.

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September retail sales jump 1.1%, beating forecasts

BY HBSDEALER Staff

U.S. retail sales in September grew at their fastest pace in six months, beating forecasts and rising 1.1%, the Commerce Department reported. Excluding the auto sector, sales rose 0.6%, also better than expected. The increase gave retailers renewed hope for the upcoming holiday season. 

The Commerce Department also reported that sales for August, which were originally reported as unchanged, were revised up to a 0.3% increase.

“Consumers remain relatively resilient,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pa., in a Bloomberg report. “It’s evident they don’t want to cut back on spending. It’s going to be a decent but not spectacular holiday shopping season.”

The September increase came amid higher purchases of autos, clothing and home furnishings.

Ten of 13 major categories showed increases last month. Apparel sales rose 1.3%, the largest increase in seven months. Sales of home furnishings were also strong, up 1.1%. Purchases at automobile dealers climbed 3.6%, the most since March 2010.

Click here for the latest Home Channel News Industry Dashboard.

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