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Lowe's shuttering 51 locations as new CEO seeks to revamp strategy
Lowe's announced Monday that it will be closing 51 locations — 20 in the U.S. and 31 in Canada — in North America over the coming months. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Lowe's shuttering 51 locations as new CEO seeks to revamp strategy

Home improvement retailer Lowe's announced Monday that it will be closing 51 locations in North America as part of their new CEO's effort to revamp the firm's business strategy.

What are the details?

The company issued a release on its website saying that it would close 20 underperforming stores in the U.S., and 31 locations in Canada "to focus on its most profitable stores and improve the overall health of its store portfolio."

According to the announcement, a majority of the stores on the chopping block are within 10 miles of another store, and most U.S. employees will have an opportunity to transition into jobs at other locations.

Some locations will be shuttered immediately, and all impacted stores will be closed by the end of the company's 2018 fiscal year on Feb. 1, 2019. Lowe's has more than 2,300 stores in North America.

What did the Lowe's CEO say?

Lowe's President and CEO Marvin Ellison said, "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."

Ellison assumed his position in July, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ellison previously spent more than 12 years at Lowe's rival, Home Depot, and is the former CEO of J.C. Penney Co. One month after taking over at Lowe's, Ellison announced that the firm would be closing down its 99 Orchard Supply Hardware stores, which the company had acquired five years ago.

In August, Ellison told the Journal that Lowe's needs to improve the use of store space and reduce inventory at its locations, and said some fundamental retail practices hadn't been used at the firm in recent years.

He also criticized the fact that some executives in charge of operations prior to him coming on board didn't have a background in the industry.

"The person leading our stores team until recently had never worked in a store, never ran a store and never was an associate on the sales floor," Ellison said. "I'm not saying that's a prerequisite; what I am saying is, it really helps."

What else?

Lowe's next quarterly earnings release will be Nov. 20, and further details on store closings will be provided in the report.

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