While many believed that Lowe’s and Home Depot were “Amazon-proof,” in the latest blow to retail, the hardware giant announced it would be closing 51 of its North American stores.
The company says that the majority of stores being closed are those which are within 10 miles of another Lowe’s location.
All told, Lowe’s will close 20 stores in the United States, as well as, 31 in Canada. All 51 stores are expected to shut down operations before February 1, 2019. The company will try to relocate employees at the shuttered stores to other nearby locations.
While many of the items that can be found at hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot are available on Amazon – many aren’t. Amazon doesn’t sell heavy, bulky home improvement products. And they definitely don’t sell large construction items like lumber and drywall.
Therefore, rather than Amazon, it’s Home Depot that is battling Lowe’s for supremacy. Reportedly, Home Depot’s revenue was $100 billion last year. Comparatively, low sales were below $70 billion. Additionally, low stock price was also lagging behind Lowe’s, leading to its investors pressuring the company to improve profitability.
Lowe’s brought in Marv Ellison as CEO to help try to turn the company around. Ellison was a top executive for over a decade at Home Depot, and recently served as CEO for JCPenney’s.
In his first cost-cutting mood, Ellison closed all of Lowe’s Orchard Hardware stores, as well as, greatly reduced Lowe’s inventory.
Now, Ellison is slashing the number of Lowe’s stores and it appears he will redirect the company’s target customer focus on construction companies and homebuilders.
Lowe’s is closing 20 stores in the US, in the following states: Alabama (1); California (4); Connecticut (1); Illinois (2); Indiana (1); Louisiana (1); Massachusetts (1); Michigan (2); Minnesota (1); Missouri (2); New York (2); Pennsylvania (1); Texas (1).