Lowe’s to close Emporia store

Published 9:53 am Monday, October 17, 2011

Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies Inc. will close its Emporia store within a month, company officials said this morning.

The store is among 20 “underperforming” stores in 15 states to be closed. The Lowe’s store in Franklin, which opened about a year before Emporia’s store, is not on the list.

“Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on hard-working employees and local communities,” said Robert A. Niblock, chairman, president and CEO of Lowe’s Companies Inc. “However, we have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position.”

About 1,950 employees will be affected by the closings, the company said. Employees will receive pay and benefits for 60 days to 90 days. Lowe’s will work with local government agencies to help employees with outplacement assistance.

Lowe’s also said it has discontinued a number of planned new stores. Lowe’s now expects to open 10 stores to 15 stores per year in North America from 2012 forward, compared to a prior assumption of about 30 stores per year. The company is on track to open approximately 25 stores in 2011, as planned.