Lowe's set to close 31 Canadian stores, including two in the Sault


Lowe's Companies, Inc. announced Monday the closure of 20 stores in the USA and additional closures in Canada and other locations.

In another sign of the times for retail, Lowe's is closing 51 North American stores.

The company, which operates about 1,800 US stores and 300 in Canada, said it expects the closures to be completed by February, with the exception of some USA stores that are closing immediately.

Some U.S. stores will close immediately, though Lowe's did not immediately announce the locations.

Lowe's CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement Monday that the company is "making every effort to transition impacted associates to nearby Lowe's stores".

The closings include four California locations - Aliso Viejo, Irvine, South San Francisco and San Jose.

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The U.S. retailer acquired Rona Inc.in Canada in 2016 in a deal valued at $3.2 billion.

Lowe's now operates a total of 2,390 home improvement and hardware stores.

This summer, for instance, Lowe's announced that it's shutting down its Orchard Supply Hardware chain, which the company bought in 2013 for $205 million, in order "focus on its core home improvement business". As recently as August, Lowe's held a job fair for the store.

The majority of the impacted US stores are located within 10 miles of another store.

Sylvain Prud'homme, chief executive of Lowe's Canada, did not say how many employees would be affected by the closures, but said the changes will allow the company to improve collaboration between its banners to better serve customers.