Lowe's to close 31 stores across Canada

Customers walk toward a Lowe's store in Hialeah Fla

The company says the stores are expected to close by February. During his time at Penney, the retailer closed 142 unprofitable stores.

Lowe's announced today that the company would be closing more than 50 stores across North America. The company said that a "majority" of the shuttered stores are within 10 miles of another Lowe's location.

In addition to the Gurnee and Portage locations, Lowe's is closing its store in Granite City, near St. Louis. In July, Lowe's received approval to move into a 110,000-square-foot space at a shopping center in Queens.

Lowe's said employees in the affected stores were notified of the closures Sunday evening.

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Lowe's is closing dozens of stores across the continent next year. "We believe our people are the foundation of our business and essential to our future growth, and we are making every effort to transition impacted associates to nearby Lowe's stores".

He said the company has also been facing fierce competition from fellow home improvement businesses Home Depot Inc. and Canadian Tire Inc. and to some extent, Costco Wholesale Corp. and Walmart Inc., which are "extremely powerful" and stock some home and garden products. Lowe's also did away with a few high-profile positions, such as its chief operating officer and chief customer officer, and replaced them with other roles that report directly to Ellison.

Marvin Ellison, the new CEO, previously said he wants to focus more on improving core retail areas and increasing online sales.

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