More than 100 people will likely lose their jobs after Lowe’s Companies, Inc. announced Monday it is closing the North Kingstown store.
The Davisville Road location is expected to shut its doors in about 4 weeks, after employees finish cataloging the store's inventory, according to Steve Salazar, a spokesman in the company's Moorseville, N.C. headquarters. Some of the 110 employees will be offered positions in other Lowe's stores. The remainder will be laid off with a severance package that includes 60 days of pay and benefits, Salazar said. Nationwide, nearly 2,000 employees will be affected.
The NK site, which opened in January 2009, is among 20 Lowe's locations the company has decided to shutter, citing low performance. "The stores that are closing have not made significant progress necessary to achieve profitability," Salazar said. Local store managers declined to comment, referring all inquiries to the company's corporate headquarters.
Despite the loss of Lowe's, the Quonset Development Corporation remains optimistic for the future of the Davisville business park, according to Dave Preston, spokesman for QDC. Preston pointed to General Dynamic's Electric Boat (which has a location in Quonset) recently nabbing a $430-million contract with the U.S. Navy, and the addition of 80 jobs in Kiefer Park as pluses in the area. The closing, Preston said, is a sign of the times.
"Sometimes you take three steps forward and one step back," Preston said. "With this economy, you expect that ebb and flow."
Lowe's and the Quonset Development Corporation will now look for a company to take over the leased property. "It's a desirable building in a desirable location," Preston said of the building.
The store closures are spread among 15 states, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Lowe's is a Fortune 50 company, with reported sales of nearly $50 billion in 2010. The company serves more than 15 million customers a week at more than 1,700 stores. Monday's announcement is expected to lower the company's stock price by 17 to 20 cents a share.