Sonora Lowe’s to stay open despite nationwide closures

Union Democrat staff

Staff and Wire Reports

Home-improvement retailer Lowe's Cos. said Monday it will close 20 underperforming stores in 15 states and cut 1,950 jobs in order to focus on more profitable locations. The Sonora Lowe's is not included in the list of stores on the chopping block.

Ten locations were closed Sunday; the other 10 will close in a month. They include three closings in New Hampshire and two each in California, Illinois and Maine. The home improvement giant will close stores in Los Banos and Westminster.

Before the closures, Lowe's operated 1,725 stores.

Lowe's, based in Mooresville, N.C., also said it will only open 10 to

15 stores in North America annually beginning in 2012. Previously the

company expected to open 30 stores per year. It will open 25 stores

this year.

The Sonora Lowe's opened in December 2010 after the company announced plans to build the 94,000-square-foot store in 2004.

Lowe's said the moves will cost it 17 cents to 20 cents per share in its current fiscal year.

In August, Lowe's said volatile weather and shoppers' worries about

the economy hurt demand. Its net income was nearly flat in the second

quarter and the company lowered its yearly sales forecast, saying it

expected net income of $1.48 to $1.54 per share in its fiscal year

ending Feb. 3.

The company's results have been pressured as consumers continue to

stick to home renovation products under $500. In August the company

said it was closing 7 stores and eliminating 650 associated jobs.

Its shares rose 10 cents to close Monday at $20.89.

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The Union Democrat
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