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Lowe's set to close 31 Canadian stores, including two in the Sault

Both Sault stores have been deemed 'underperforming'
A Lowe's employee is pictured during the opening weekend of the Northern Avenue location in June, 2015. The company announced today it will be closing the store. Donna Hopper/SooToday

Lowe's Companies Inc. announced this morning that it will be closing 31 stores across Canada, including both it's relatively new Lowe's location at Great Northern Road and Northern Avenue, and it's Black Road Rona location in Sault Ste. Marie.

Nine store closures are expected across Ontario, including one in Sudbury.

The closures are expected to be completed by February, says the company. It will also close 20 'underperforming' stores in the U.S.

Lowe's opened its Northern Avenue location in 2015 after renovations were completed on the former Zellers spot. As recently as August, Lowe's held a job fair for the store.

The Sault Lowe's is one of only two being closed by the hardware giant. The rest are Rona locations, acquired by Lowe's in 2016 in a $32-million deal. The other Lowe's to close is in North York.

The following is the text of a release issued this morning by Lowe's:

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) today announced the wind-down of certain underperforming store locations as part of its ongoing strategic reassessment. To focus on its most profitable stores and improve the overall health of its store portfolio, the company will:

  • Close 20 U.S. stores. Most associates at these stores will be extended opportunities to transition to a similar role at a nearby Lowe’s store. The majority of impacted stores are located within 10 miles of another Lowe’s store.
  • Close 31 Canadian stores and other locations.

“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 Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO.  “We believe our people are the foundation of our business and essential to our future growth, and we are making every effort to transition impacted associates to nearby Lowe’s stores.”

Lowe’s expects to close the impacted stores by the end of the company’s 2018 fiscal year (Feb. 1, 2019). To facilitate an orderly wind-down, the company intends to conduct store closing sales for most of the impacted 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 U.S. and ensure a seamless experience for customers.

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 Aug. 22 when it released its second quarter earnings. Additional details regarding the impact of the store closings will be provided in the next quarterly earnings release on Nov. 20.

A list of impacted stores may be found on Lowe’s newsroom.


with files from Canadian Press