Lowe’s to close 20 stores, cutting 2,000 jobs

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Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. says it will close 20 underperforming stores in 15 states and cut 1,950 jobs in a move that it says will allow it to focus on more profitable locations.

Lowe’s is maintaining plans to open a store at the Citadel Crossing shopping center southeast of Academy Boulevard and Galley Road. Lowe’s also has two existing Springs locations. No word yet about whether they are in danger of closing.

Lowe’s, based in Mooresville, N.C., also says it will only open 10 to 15 stores in North America annually beginning in 2012. Previously the company expected to open 30 stores per year. It will open 25 stores this year.

Lowe’s says the moves will cost it 17 cents to 20 cents per share in 2011.

In August, Lowe’s said volatile weather and shoppers’ worries about the economy hurt demand. Its net income was nearly flat in the second quarter and the company lowered its yearly sales forecast.