Home improvement retail giant Lowe's has announced it will close 31 stores in Canada.
Two Rona stores and one Lowe's store will close in northeastern Ontario.
The RONA store on Barrydowne Road in Greater Sudbury is set to close as Lowe's Companies Inc. focuses on its most profitable stores to improve the overall health of its store portfolio, it said in a news release.
Buffetted in recent quarters by the impact of a long winter in North America, Lowe's has been striving to find ways to catch up with the long-time sector leader Home Depot, whose stores on average generate nearly twice as much in sales.
The 20 US closures are spread across states including New York, Texas and California, with 31 locations including two plants in a handful of Canadian provinces also shutting. Lowe's has partnered with Hilco Merchant Services to help manage the process in the USA and ensure a seamless experience for customers.
The company now 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. The retailer will attempt to relocate employees to nearby stores. Lowe's said Monday's announcement would result in charges of 28 cents per share to 34 cents per share or $300 million to $365 million in pre-tax expenses.
Lowe's Canadian business is based in Boucherville, Que. and has more than 630 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores.
In an interview with the Observer last month, Ellison said he considers Lowe's a "transformation" and not a "turnaround" like J.C. Penney, where he spent the last three years as CEO.
That includes, for instance, retooling inventory to ensure popular products are always in stock, and that Lowe's clears out unpopular products that gather dust on the shelves.