Lowe's announces nearly 2,400 layoffs for full-time workers

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Mooresville-based home improvement retailer Lowe's said it's told approximately 2,400 full-time workers that they will be laid off.

A statement from the store said the majority of the cuts are at the store level, with other cuts occurring at distribution centers, customer support centers and vice presidents at the company's corporate office in Mooresville.

A company spokeswoman said the layoffs are part of a new store staffing model.

The new store model will result in the reduction of approximately one to two assistant store manager positions per store, the spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman said the layoffs affect approximately 2,400 employees, which is less than 1 percent of the workforce.

On its website, the company lists 2,355 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The spokeswoman said it only affects stores in the U.S.

The company said it's providing the assistant managers whose positions were eliminated with a transition package including severance, outplacement resources and other support.

Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty found out that employees were meeting at the Lowe’s in Hickory around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. A little over an hour later officials at the company’s corporate headquarters made the announcement.

Channel 9 spoke with an employee in Hickory who said his manager was just let go.

"You grow with him, you know, it's like a camaraderie,” the employee who did not want to be identified said. “It's all of us working together and once he's gone, it's a shock to all of us."

The Fortune 500 company, with headquarters in Mooresville, made the announcement ahead of the busy spring season saying it is shifting resources from back-of-the-store activities to customer-facing ones.

Officials have not released the total number of job cuts and Channel 9 has not been able to talk with any associates at the Hickory store.

Lowe's officials said it is still expanding and expecting to add 15 to 20 stores per year, adding some store-level 4,000 jobs.

In October Lowe's laid off 95 employees in its IT department. Some of those positions were in the Mooresville headquarters. Those workers received severance pay based on tenure and position.

Lowe's also announced Bob Hull was retiring as its chief financial officer. Marshall Croom, who has been with Lowe's for two decades, will succeed Hull as CFO March 3.

Lowes letter to employees:

We are all aware of how quickly the retail industry is changing. Advances in technology and the competitive landscape continue to transform how customers are shopping and their expectations of us. In this environment, it is imperative that Lowe's continue to evolve, to ensure that we are delivering the best experience for customers and remain the go-to destination for their home improvement needs.

As you know, Lowe's is engaged in an effort across all parts of the company to refocus and invest our resources to deliver on our omni-channel strategy so we continue to grow as a company. As part of this effort, Lowe's has made a number of changes in its leadership structure today in the customer support centers, stores, distribution centers and corporate office to enhance our efforts on improving the customer experience and facilitating faster decision-making.

In total, the changes we made today impact less than 1% of our workforce, approximately 2,400 employees.

Store Staffing

Today we are introducing a new store staffing model designed to reallocate our people resources to strengthen our focus on delivering a truly exceptional - and differentiated - experience for customers.

The new store staffing model is being rolled out now across all U.S. Lowe's home improvement stores so that we are best prepared for the upcoming spring selling season.

The changes will better align store staffing with customer demand, shift resources from back-of-the-store activities to customer-facing ones, and enhance our efficiency and productivity.

We are shifting most roles and responsibilities versus eliminating them, so that the vast majority of associates affected will have the opportunity for new roles at Lowe's, including promotions. Store leadership has spoken individually with all affected employees and those who are changing roles will receive training sessions to help smooth their transition. Unfortunately, the store staffing model will result in the reduction of approximately 1-2 assistant store manager positions per store.

Customer Support Centers (CSC), Distribution Centers and Corporate Office

In addition, we have consolidated some leadership positions in our contact centers and distribution centers, impacting 37 employees nationwide, as well as about 10% of our vice presidents at the corporate office. 

It is always difficult to make decisions that affect our people, but sometimes they are necessary as we build for the future and meet the evolving needs of customers. We greatly appreciate and value the contributions made by the individuals impacted by this plan and will be providing them with a transition package including severance, outplacement resources and other support.

I want to assure you that Lowe's financial position is strong and the fundamentals of the home improvement industry are solid. The changes we are introducing today are foundational to our strategy and the future. As customers' expectations and technology continue to evolve, we must be organized and aligned to deliver on our strategy and their expectations. I recognize that change is never easy, but I'm confident that if we focus our organizational talent and investments on our omni-channel strategy, we'll deliver a better customer experience. You can expect that we will continue to evolve our organization to remain relevant for customers and our employees now and in the future.

Thank you, as always, for your hard work and commitment to Lowe's and to our customers.

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