The Wall St. Journal recently reported that the second-largest home improvement retailer in the U.S. is sending thousands of its workers home with dismissal papers. Lowe’s plans to primarily eliminate maintenance and assembly worker positions and outsource them to third-parties.
Ever since July 2018 when CEO Marvin Ellison took over, the company has been seeking more cost-cutting measures.
Lowe’s released a statement that said the move was to allow its associates to focus more of their attention on the sales floor so they could better serve customers. The company said that the laid-off workers will receive transition pay and will be considered for other jobs that are available at its stores.
Earlier this year, Lowe’s announced that it employed nearly 190,000 full-time workers and 110,000 part-time workers.
Aside from its 1700-plus traditional retail stores, Lowe’s announced earlier this year that it was opening a technology center in North Carolina. The company plans to hire 2,000 new workers at the new center.
Lowe’s stock was down by nearly 2 percent earlier today when the news of the layoffs broke. Since the beginning of the year, its shares had been up by almost 8 percent. Its shares have a market value of $78 billion.
Lowe’s isn’t the only retailer that’s recently announced layoffs and store closures. It seems to be a trend. This year, U.S. retailers have announced nearly 7,000 store closures. Dressbarn, Chicos, Gap, Pier 1 Imports, Sears, Office Depot, and dozens of others have closed some of its doors.
Experts say store closings could set a record and top 12,000 by the end of 2019. Last year, just over 5,500 stores closed their doors. That figure was down by the record set in 2017 of 8,139.