Lowe's to close 34 stores across the country

Hardware store chain Lowe’s has announced a major restructuring that will shutter 34 of its stores across the country Wednesday.

It is not known how many employees will be affected by the decision.

Lowe’s currently owns 67 stores in Canada, as well as 21 Réno-Dépôts and just over 400 RONA outlets, in addition to 100 stores under other brands.

Almost a third of the closures are in Quebec, where 12 stores are affected. Nine stores will be closed in Ontario, six in Alberta, three in Nova Scotia, three in British Columbia, and one in Saskatchewan.

In a statement, Lowe’s Canada interim president Tony Cioffi said the affected stores were “underperforming,” and that the closures were a “necessary step” to ensure the long-term viability of the business.

This decision comes a month after 60 accounting jobs were cut at the company’s Quebec headquarters in Boucherville.

Last November, the company closed 31 stores across the country.

Lowe’s, an American company, bought Quebec-based RONA for $3.2 billion in 2016.

At the time, the provincial government faced severe criticism for allowing the sale to go through. Opposition parties argued that the government shouldn’t have let one of Quebec’s flagship companies be sold to an American competitor. 

Jacques Daoust, who was the Quebec economy minister at the time of the sale, stepped down as a result.

The company said that some of the affected employees will be offered a transfer to a nearby store.

Most of the stores will close on Jan. 31, with the rest shuttering on Feb. 19.

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