Lowe's to close two mid-Michigan stores

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In addition to the 31 Canadian stores, Lowe's is also planning to close 20 locations in the United States.

The Mooresville-based home improvement retailer announced early Monday that it will shut down 20 stores in the US and 31 in Canada in an effort to "focus on its most profitable stores and improve the overall health of its store portfolio".

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Based in Boucherville, Que., Lowe's Canadian business has more than 630 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores.

Three stores in the GTA have been marked for closure - two Rona locations in Mississauga and the Lowe's at Centrepoint Mall.

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Lowe's, which operates over 2,000 stores in North America, said the latest store closures would be complete by February.

Lowe's, which has trailed Home Depot in sales for years, is in the midst of a turnaround under new Chief Executive Officer Marvin Ellison, who has promised to remove slow-selling products and end unsuccessful ventures. It announced in August that it would close all 99 Orchard Supply Hardware stores, leading to write downs of $390 million to $475 million.

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To facilitate an orderly wind-down, the company said it intends to conduct store closing sales for most of the impacted locations with the exception of select stores in the US, which will close immediately. The priority for Lowe's right now, he said, is improving basic "retail fundamentals".

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