Lowe's to close 34 "underperforming" stores across six provinces, vexing Quebec

The company did not say how many employees will be affected by the closures, but that eligible staff will be offered opportunities to transfer to other stores.

In a release, Lowe's Canada - which also owns RONA - said the 34 stores slated to close were under performing.

Lowe's operates more than 600 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores under the Lowe's, Rona, Reno-Depot, Ace and Dick's Lumber brands in Canada.

Despite the closures, Lowe's chief executive Marvin Ellison said in a statement that the company is "committed to the Canadian market" and is taking "decisive action to improve the performance and profitability" in Canada. "It made it very hard to create synergies from a marketing, merchandising, sourcing perspective and even in IT systems infrastructure". He added the home-improvement retailer previous year offered a lot of site-wide promotions that "gave a lot of value to the customers", but "little value to the shareholders and to the company from a profit perspective".

Lowe's could attract more "regular shoppers" by distinguishing itself from Home Depot, he added, stressing "the softer side of home improvement".

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Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said the US giant seemed to respect an agreement signed with Ottawa after Lowe's acquired Rona for $3.2 billion in 2016.

In Canada, the company has more than 28,000 employees, while its independent affiliate dealers operating under the Rona and Ace name have another 5,000 employees.

In a release issued Wednesday, the company said the stores set to close are "underperforming" and the announcement comes after "a detailed strategic review of its operations".

Another six stores are closing early next year in Alberta, one in Saskatchewan and nine in Ontario.

  • Darren Santiago