Add Lowe’s to the growing list of retailers shuttering stores nationwide

A vacant Lowe’s store and Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison (Credit: Institute for Local Self-Reliance)

Lowe’s Companies said it will close 51 stores in the United States and Canada, the latest national retailer to shed its brick and mortar locations amid increasing e-commerce competition.

On Monday, the home improvement giant announced it will shutter 20 stores in the U.S. — including two in Manhattan — and 31 stores in Canada, according to the Wall Street Journal. The closures affect 13 states, including four locations in California and two in Illinois. Lowe’s has more than 2,300 stores in North America.

Some stores will close immediately while others will shut down by the end of the company’s fiscal year, on Feb. 1, 2019.

Marvin Ellison, the new CEO, previously said he wants to focus more on improving core retail areas and increasing online sales.

Traditional retailers have struggled to stay afloat as Amazon and other online competitors have made inroads. Some of those retailers like Toys “R” Us, Mattress Firm and Sears have filed for bankruptcy, and have already closed hundreds of locations stores.

Landlords are now searching for new tenants to fill these spots.

Lowe’s said the majority of the shuttered stores are located within 10 miles of another Lowe’s outlet. The Manhattan locations are on the Upper West Side, at 2008 Broadway; and in Chelsea, at 635-641 6th Avenue. In July, Lowe’s received approval to move into a 110,000-square-foot space at a shopping center in Queens. The company signed a 15-year lease with Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation for the property, replacing sections of now-closed Macy’s.

In August, Lowe’s said it planned to close all Orchard Supply Hardware stores, the 99-store chain the company acquired in 2013.

The closures will reduce the company’s expected annual earnings per share by 28 to 34 cents, it said.

The company will announce third-quarter earnings on Nov. 20. [WSJ] — Keith Larsen 

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