About 200 Jobs Lost as Lowe's Shutters Oswego, Aurora Stores

North Carolina-based home improvement chain also modified number of future store openings

By BJ Lutz
|  Monday, Oct 17, 2011  |  Updated 3:05 PM CDT
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Oswego, Aurora Lowe's Stores Among Closures

A Lowe's store in Aurora is seen without signage and with a mostly-vacant parking lot a day after the store suddenly closed.

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A decrease in the number of home construction and remodeling projects has the home improvement chain Lowe's re-evaluating its business.

The North Carolina-based chain on Sunday closed 10 stores -- including two in the Chicago area -- and said another 10 would be closing within a month. The retailer said the store were "underperforming."

Stores in Aurora, at 2372 West Indian Trail, and Oswego, at 2400 Route 34, were among the stores closed Sunday. The stores employed about 200 people, a company spokesman said. They'll continue to receive pay and benefits for two to three months.

Nationwide, the closures mean about 1,950 people will be looking for new jobs.

For the communities, it means a loss of tax revenue and additionall challenges for the local economy.

The closing of the Oswego store will mean a loss of about $150,000 a year to the village's sales tax revenue, Oswego's director of finance told Montgomery Patch.

The closures come just two months after stores in Elgin and Schaumburg were shuttered just as abruptly.

"Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on hard-working employees and local communities," Lowe's president and CEO Robert A. Niblock said in a written statement. "However, we have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position."

The chain also modified its goal of opening new stores, expecting to open 10-15 stores in North America beginning in 2012. The company had previously expected to open 30 stores per year.

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