Lowe's Closing 51 Stores

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Lowe's issued a press release this week announcing the closure of 20 under-performing stores across the US, including two in IL, by early February 2019.

Lowe's Companies Inc. will be closing 31 Canadian stores and other locations as part of a plan to focus on its most profitable operations.

The company said these locations were under-performing, and that most of the impacted stores were located within 10 miles of another Lowe's location.

A RONA spokesperson said, however, that the lumberyard section of the Bath Road location will remain open as a support to the larger Home and Garden RONA on Princess Street, which won't be affected by the string of closures. The California stores closing include Lowe's locations in Alison Viejo, Irvine, South San Francisco and San Jose. You can find a list of Lowe's closure here. The company said some Rona stores will also be closed in Canada early next year.

The home improvement chain operates more than 2,000 stores in North America but has trailed rival Home Depot in sales. Over the past 12 months, The Home Depot has outperformed Lowe's in total revenue by almost 50% ($104.32 billion to $70.51 billion), net income ($9.85 billion to $3.2 billion) and operating margin (14.5% to 8.9%).

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Lowe's said it will conduct store-closing sales, and that all of the affected locations are expected to close by February 1, the end of its 2018 fiscal year.

The announcement follows Dedham-based Papa Gino's surprise weekend closing of dozens of restaurants throughout New England.

"We view this as a positive step towards improving productivity of the chain", Credit Suisse analyst Seth Sigman said. Other high-profile positions were eliminated and replaced with other roles that report to the CEO.

In an interview with the Observer last month, Ellison said he considers Lowe's a "transformation" and not a "turnaround" like J.C. Penney, where he spent the last three years as CEO.

In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Ellison said retooling inventory is one of the "retail fundamentals" that has to be addressed first.

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