It’s hard times for hardware folk, with Lowe’s announcing that it will slow growth while closing 20 stores and leaving nearly 2,000 people out of jobs. The company shut down half the stores already and plans to whack the others within the next month. It still plans on growing, opening 25 more stores this year, but will open only 10 or 15 stores a year starting next year rather than the 30 it previously planned.
Bloomberg reports it will cost Lowe’s $130 million to get out of leases, pay employee severance costs for 60 to 90 days and handle excess inventory.
An analyst attributed the closures and scaled-back growth to cash-strapped do-it-your-selfers making their own cuts in home improvement spending.