The Real Reason Some Lowe’s Stores Are Closing

The home improvement chain recently announced its closing 51 stores.

A Lowe's store in PhiladelphiaMatt Rourke/AP/REX/Shutterstock

When it comes to Lowe’s, easy access to stores around the United States may have been too much of a good thing.

The home improvement chain recently announced that it is closing 20 of its most underperforming stores around the United States and an additional 31 stores in Canada, CNBC reported. Most of the closures involve Lowe’s that are located within ten miles of each other.

The affected stores are in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. This map will show you if a Lowe’s near you is closing. Lowe’s runs about 1,800 stores in the United States. The shuttering of the stores is expected to take place by February.

The closures are a “necessary step in [the company’s] strategic reassessment as [it focuses] on building a stronger business,” Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison said.

Competition is a major factor. Lowe’s has tried to catch up with Home Depot over the past year, but industry analysts say Home Depot has better real estate and has invested more in e-commerce. Don’t miss these 8 money-saving secrets Home Depot employees want you to know.

Lowe’s decision to close the underperforming stores isn’t surprising, Wells Fargo Analyst Zachary Fadem wrote.

“We suspect the 51 stores being closed are losing money, are being cannibalized by other Lowe’s stores, or face heightened competition by Home Depot and others,” Fadem added. Here are 10 weird things you didn’t know you could buy at Lowe’s.

Lowe’s appointed two new board members in January after an activist hedge fund with a stake in the company revealed concerns about the company’s performance. Ellison took over as CEO in May and recently outlined what he thinks is wrong with the company, according to Forbes. Ellison plans to “change everything—from supply chain to logistics to design.” The company has also been revisiting its pricing strategy, with lots of two-for-one deals.

But Home Depot, which operates more than 2,280 stores around the country, is making improvements of its own.  The company is investing $1.2 million over the next five years in its own supply chain, according to Forbes. That will enable Home Depot to provide same and next-day delivery to 90 percent of the population in the United States. So someday soon, upgrading your home might not even require a trip to a store at all. Next, find out the 14 things you shouldn’t buy in home improvement stores.

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Jen McCaffery
Jen McCaffery is an associate editor for Reader’s Digest. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Prevention, Rhode Island Monthly, and other publications and websites. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s growing veggies or trying to figure out the way home from assorted trails.