Saturday, September 5, 2015

Lowe's laying off 2,000, closing 20 stores, canceling new ones

The North Carolina home-construction supply chain will only open 10-15 stores/year, not the promised 30

Lowe's laying off 2,000, closing 20 stores, canceling new ones

Lowe's Companies, having apparently given up on hopes of a rapid recovery for US consumers, has "discontinued" plans for dozens of new stores. The North Carolina-based construction and home supply chain says it will only open 10-15 new stores a year in the forseeable future, not the 30 a year it previously projected.

It's not that Lowe's doesn't have the money. The company is spending $5 billion buying back its own stock to prop up share prices, notes Gimme Credit analyst Carol Levenson. It's that Lowe's believes the "slump" won't end soon, she adds.

The North Carolina-based chain also says it's laying off around 1,950 workers at 20 "underperforming" stores it plans to close, mostly in New England and the Midwest. The closest to Philly is in Old Bridge, NJ. List and statement here.

"We have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position," said chairman Robert A. Niblock in the statement.

Lowe's, a smaller rival of Home Depot, claims $49 billion in yearly sales at its 1,725 North American stores, which include 25 new this year.

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at,, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

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