Home-Improvement Stores Close Suddenly

August 16, 2011

Seems that even indirect areas of the Chicago real estate industry are struggling.

With absolutely no warning, two local Lowe’s home improvement stores closed their doors this week, leaving close to 200 people without jobs.

The Lowe’s stores in Schaumburg and Elgin were two of seven stores nationwide that were shuttered this week due to low sale numbers.

Schaumburg was one of the anchor stores in a shopping center at Barrington and Schaumburg roads. The store, which opened in 2006 and had a lease through 2025, had 110 employees.

lowe's sign gone

The Lowe's sign has already been pulled off the building in Schaumburg.

The Elgin location, on Randall Road in the western suburb, opened in 2007 and employed 85 people.

The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires employers to give employees 60 days’ notice before closing any location with 75 or more workers. As a result, all Lowe’s employees will supposedly get two months of severance pay with benefits.

Still, I don’t have to tell you what a difficult job market those people are entering.

Lowe’s, the nation’s second-largest home improvement retailer, said its second-quarter net income of $830 million was nearly flat. For the same three months last year, Lowe’s pulled in $832 million.

“Despite some recovery in our seasonal business, our performance for the quarter fell short of our expectations,” said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO.

Lowe’s still managed to open two new stores during that period and has plans to open 11 more this year nationwide.

The other stores that were closed suddenly were located in Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota and New York.

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