Lowe's Closing 51 Stores

Home improvement retailer Lowe's is closing more than 50 underperforming stores as part of an “ongoing strategic reassessment,” the retailer announced in a statement on Monday.

According to the announcement, the closures will affect 20 stores in the United States and 31 stores in Canada, the majority of which are within 10 miles of another Lowe’s location, in an effort to lead a turnaround for the company, which has been trailing competitor Home Depot for years.

“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,” Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO, said of the closures. “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.”

The affected stores, with locations including New York, Texas and California, as well as British Columbia and other Canadian provinces, are expected to close before February 1, 2019. The retailer will attempt to relocate employees to nearby stores.

The closures follow the shuttering of the company’s Orchard Supply Hardware chain of 99 stores along with a slashing of inventory at other Lowe’s locations.

The home improvement company is not the only retailer to close its doors in recent months.

In October, classic American retailer Sears announced the possible closure of more than 10 stores, which followed the earlier closures of dozens of other locations, the company citing non-profitability. That same month, the retailer, founded in 1887 by railroad agent Richard Sears, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after failing to make a $134 million debt payment. At the time, the company was said to be drowning in $5.5 billion of outstanding debt.

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Famed toy retailer Toys ‘R’ Us has also been affected by the new world of retail, with the company having announced in March that all of its stores would be closing. The company later announced that Babies "R" Us would also be closing. Prior to the announcement, the retailer had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The multiple closures comes as companies struggle to survive in a shifting retail landscape, in which online shopping, like Amazon, has assumed a larger and larger place in the market. While companies like Walmart have grown in size in an effort to keep up with their competitors, mid-size stores have struggled to keep up.