Lowe’s to Close All 99 Orchard Supply Hardware Stores

by Camren Skelton

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (NYSE: LOW) has announced it will close all 99 of its Orchard Supply Hardware stores by Feb. 1.

Founded in San Jose, Calif., in 1931 and acquired by Lowe’s in 2013, Orchard Supply Hardware operates locations in California, Oregon and Florida. Lowe’s is closing the stores to focus on its core home improvement business.

“Our strategic reassessment is ongoing as we evaluate the productivity of our real estate portfolio and non-retail business investments,” said Marvin Ellison, president and CEO of Lowe’s, in an earnings statement. “While it was a necessary business decision to exit Orchard Supply Hardware, decisions that impact our people are never easy.”

In addition to shuttering Orchard Supply stores, Lowe’s said it plans to “aggressively” tighten its store inventory, reducing lower-performing stock and increasing the depth of high-selling items.

Mooresville-based Lowe’s increased sales 7.1 percent, year-over-year, in the second quarter of 2018. However, the company adjusted its full-year earnings and profits forecast to account for closing costs. The Orchard Supply closure is expected to cost the company between $390 million and $475 million.

The company lowered the forecast for its full-year increase in sales from 5 percent to 4.5 percent.

Store closing sales are scheduled to begin today (Thursday, Aug. 23), with a plan for all Orchard Supply Hardware locations to be closed by the end of the company’s fiscal year, which is Feb. 1, 2019. Lowe’s will also close a distribution center in California that services the stores.

As of Aug. 3, Lowe’s operated 2,155 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing 215.3 million square feet of retail space. LOW stock closed at $105.54 per share on Wednesday, Aug. 22, up from $73.01 per share a year ago.

— Camren Skelton

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