Lowes closing 31 Canadian stores and other locations 20 stores in US

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — Lowe’s Companies Inc. is reducing its Canadian footprint by closing 31 properties across the country in a bid to streamline its business.The home improvement company said Monday in addition to closing 27 stores, it will also shutter two regional support centres in Mississauga, Ont. and St. John’s, N.L., a truss plant in St. John’s, N.L. and a block plant in Kamloops, B.C. as part of a plan to focus instead on the most profitable parts of its business.Among the 27 stores set to close by the end of January are nine in Ontario, nine in Quebec, six in Newfoundland and Labrador, two in Alberta and one in British Columbia.Sylvain Prud’homme, chief executive of Lowe’s Canada, did not say how many employees would be affected by the closures, but said the changes will allow the company to improve collaboration between its banners to better serve customers.“Everything will be done to ensure a smooth transition until the stores are closed, and Lowe’s Canada will support impacted employees, including by transferring eligible employees to other locations within our network whenever possible,” Prud’homme said in a statement.In addition to the 31 locations the brand is closing in Canada, it will also axe 20 stores in the U.S. The Canadian closures amount to a reduction of about three per cent of the brand’s total retail network square footage.The company currently has 68 Lowe’s and 430 Rona stores in the country — part of its network of 2,390 home improvement locations across North America, including Reno-Depot, Dick’s Lumber, Contractor First and Ace locations it also owns.Lowe’s Canadian business is based in Boucherville, Que. and has more than 630 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores.David Soberman, a University of Toronto professor specializing in marketing and retail, said Lowe’s 2016 acquisition of Rona Inc. in a deal valued at $3.2 billion. has likely fuelled some of the Canadian cuts.“They probably had too many locations,” he said. “Now, this will mean people will have to drive a bit further to find a Lowe’s or a Rona store.”He said the company has also been facing fierce competition from fellow home improvement businesses Home Depot Inc. and Canadian Tire Inc. and to some extent, Costco Wholesale Corp. and Walmart Inc., which are “extremely powerful” and stock some home and garden products.E-commerce giants including Amazon Inc. have also posed a threat because of their efficiency, but Soberman said their impact on Lowe’s is limited because many construction and do-it-yourself products are bulky, heavy and cost more to ship — “not things that are suited to online retail.”New Chief Executive Officer Marvin Ellison began a restructuring after taking over in July and has said he was reviewing its real estate portfolio, promising to remove slow-selling products and end unsuccessful ventures.The wind down of the Orchard Supply chain cost the company between US$390 million and US$475 million in write-downs. Lowe’s said Monday’s announcement would result in charges of US$0.28 to US$0.34 or US$300 million to US$365 million in pre-tax expenses.Shares in the company were unmoved by the announcement.“We view this as a positive step towards improving productivity of the chain,” Credit Suisse analyst Seth Sigman said.“That said, we continue to look for additional progress in driving higher sales in existing stores, and monitor the investment required to do that.” Here is the list of Canadian and U.S. stores to be closed: British Columbia RONA Columbia Square 105-1015 Columbia Street, New WestministerAlberta RONA Calgary (Douglasdale) 11520 – 24th Street SE, CalgaryReno-Depot Calgary West 12330 Symons Valley Road NW, CalgaryOntario RONA Mississauga (Westdale Mall) 1133 Dundas Street West, MississaugaRONA Mississauga (Lakeshore) 1692 Lakeshore Rd, MississaugaRONA Sault Ste. Marie 132 Black Road, Sault Ste. MarieRONA Sudbury 943 Barry Downe Road, SudburyRONA Peterborough 1575 Chemong Road, PeterboroughRONA Kingston (Bath Road) 1452 Bath Road, KingstonRONA Lakefield 178 Water Street, LakefieldLowe’s North York – Centerpoint 6600 Yonge Street, North YorkLowe’s Sault Ste. Marie 248 Northern Avenue, Sault Ste. MarieQuébec RONA Ste-Clotilde 335, Route 209, Sainte-Clotilde-de-ChateauguayRONA Iberville 870, boulevard d’Iberville, Saint-Jean-sur-RichelieuRONA L’Assomption 723, boulevard L’Ange-Gardien, L’AssomptionRONA Granby Moeller 788, rue Moeller, GrandbyRONA Ste-Rose 134, boulevard Sainte-Rose, LavalRONA Rivière-des-Prairies 9200, boulevard Maurice-Duplessis, MontréalRONA Rouyn-Noranda 1200, rue Mantha, Rouyn-NorandaRONA Ange-Gardien 194, rue Principale, Ange-GardienRONA Saint-Elzéar 100, rue du Parc Industriel, Saint ElzéarNewfoundland RONA Conception Bay South (Killigrews) 825 Conception Bay Hwy, Conception BayRONA Goulds 53-59 Main Highway, GouldsRONA St. John’s (Topsail) 1297 Topsail Road, St. John’sRONA St. John’s (O’Leary) 60 O’Leary Avenue, St. John’sRONA St. John’s (Torbay) 710 Torbay Road, St. John’sRONA Bay Roberts 239 Conception Bay, Bay RobertsU.S.Alabama Lowe’s of Graysville, AL 1100 Bankhead Hwy SW Graysville, AL 35073California Lowe’s of Aliso Viejo, CA 26501 Aliso Creek Rd Aliso Viejo, CA 92656Lowe’s of Irvine, CA 13300 Jamboree Rd Irvine, CA 92602Lowe’s of South San Francisco, CA 720 Dubuque Ave South San Francisco, CA 94080Lowe’s of Central San Jose, CA 750 Newhall Dr San Jose, CA 95110Connecticut Lowe’s of Orange, CT 48 Boston Post Rd Orange, CT 06477Illinois Lowe’s of Granite City, IL 1333 Schaefer Rd Granite City, IL 62040Lowe’s of Gurnee, IL 7735 Grand Ave Gurnee, IL 60031Indiana Lowe’s of Portage, IN 6221 US Hwy 6 Portage, IN 46368Louisiana Lowe’s of E. New Orleans, LA 5770 Read Blvd New Orleans, LA 70127Massachusetts Lowe’s of Quincy, MA 599 Thomas Burgin Pkwy Quincy, MA 02169Michigan Lowe’s of Burton, MI 4274 E Court St Burton, MI 48509Lowe’s of Flint, MI 2100 T.A. Mansour Blvd Flint, MI 48532Minnesota Lowe’s of Mankato, MN 2015 Bassett Dr Mankato, MN 56001Missouri Lowe’s of Bridgeton, MO 11974 Paul Mayer Ave Bridgeton, MO 63044Lowe’s of Florissant, MO 3180 N Hwy 67 Florissant, MO 63033New York Lowe’s of Manhattan – Upper West Side 2008 Broadway New York, NY 10023Lowe’s of Manhattan – Chelsea 635-641 6th Ave New York, NY 10011Pennsylvania Lowe’s of Shippensburg, PA 250 South Conestoga Dr Shippensburg, PA 17257Texas Lowe’s of Irving, TX 3500 W Airport Fwy Irving, TX 75062With file from Reuters

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