.

Lowe's To Close NK Store; 110 To Lose Jobs

The Davisville Road location is expected to shut its doors in about a month.

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.

NKMom October 18, 2011 at 12:36 AM
This really is a shame and a loss for NK and the Quonset development initiative. I hope that Preston is correct about one step back, three steps forward, but regardless, I'd rather have Lowe's stay - jobs, development (certain stores are attracted to other stores and might follow if Lowe's had been successful) and choice (leaving only HD in NK isn't ideal...I prefer the options). I think it is going to be a long time before another store chooses that location...it is not optimally located given the road and the current traffic habits. You have to want to go to Lowes to find Lowes. And one wonders about the Dave/Kohls plaza...where are the stores for there? I had heard of a potential corner store being an upscale deli/restaurant, but looks like that fell through and Subway moved in. Again, not ideal.
seed and soil October 18, 2011 at 02:18 AM
Truly uncomprehensible that our town leaders are considering ignoring the comprehensive plan, ignoring current logical well thought-out zoning ordinanances put in place to protect and preserve precious natural resources, destroy the nature and quality of Rt 102/Ten Rod Road/NK/Exeter Line when this is the (not at all surprising) result of current NK attempts at retail expansion. The (apparent) bending over backwards to put more cash in the coffers of developers and lawyers to add more unwanted/unneeded retail/commerical development in our community at the Rolling Greens site has many not only scratching heads....but getting down right angry. The folks who own Oatleys have every right to update/upgrade their commerical property...it's zoned commerical, but the developers who bought the Rolling Greens property took a big risk knowing that thier plans would require a zoning change. DO NOT leave NK taxpayers/residents holding the bag for more unchecked/unneeded retail development in town. As for Lowes....I am sorry for the individual employees impacted by job loss.
trudy1 October 18, 2011 at 06:16 AM
It's a bummer that Lowe's is closing. It was so convenient, plus all those jobs lost. However, I think it should have been located near Dave's Market and Kohl's, where it would have been more in the public eye. Plus that traffic circle to get there is a nightmare. And once again, the previous director of Quonset screwing over the communities to the South by closing off our direct access road has no doubt resulted in less business for Quonset stores.
NKMom October 18, 2011 at 01:05 PM
Agreed Trudy1 - there are some errors with the location and access to that area of Quonset that defy logic and definitely worked against Lowe's and will work against any other retail development in that area. NK needs to re-evaluate the overall town plan and stop piecemealing things together. In order to emerge well from this recession, NK needs to have a comprehensive town plan not one that looks at things parcel by parcel without considering the overall impact of development. Fill the old spaces and then build new, and only build new where the environmental, social, residential and retail needs can be adequately addressed by that specific development plan. Is there anyone seeing the big picture in NK government/leadership?
NKGOP Watch October 18, 2011 at 02:11 PM
there IS and always WAS a comprehensive plan, but the planning has liked to violate the comprehensive plan selectively to help friends cash in and then to enforce it against those who dont 'pay the piper'. it all comes down to what happens when you have drunks and husband beaters and used car salesman etc etc voted into the town council, who then appoint planning and other boards. there are five people on the council, you need a solid three good ones and we havent had that in years. the result is piecemeal management, hideous turbines, refusal to audit the books and things like that. get a better council, or get used to bad policy
Dave October 18, 2011 at 02:16 PM
nkmom, you are right on the money with your comment about the need to look at the overall impact of development, and not piece by piece. They need to stop basing decision on the relationships with the particular developer, and start thinking of this town as a whole economic entity. Start looking to revitalize already existing but dying commercial areas in town instead of just plunking down new box stores in obscure locations. There is no real "comprehensive plan" or else it isn't being followed.
NKGOP Watch October 18, 2011 at 02:18 PM
correct on camp avenue access rd issue!
seed and soil October 18, 2011 at 03:42 PM
No doubt about it, with the exception of a few, I would imagine that most will not consider running again based on what they must know will be their fate based on poor service/results. My faith in Dolan was lost long ago when she posed as a concerned parent and sat in at a neighborhood meeting a friend held in her home for adults concerned about an issue effecting children at DMS....only for us all to later learn that she was there as a mole to report our conversations/plans to Halley .......very disturbing and eye opening indeed. I also recall (when she was between TC service) reading several posts on issue related groups on line. The poison, personal tone of the posts really struck me. I recall being very alarmed and concerned for our towns integrity/future when I heard she had been re-elected. But as they say...karmas a b***h....and thankfully through vehicles such as this more people are made aware of the character, actions and suitability of those who serve/run in/for office. Here's hoping that the next election cycle brings a crop of fresh faces. I think residents have learned an important lesson. We all need to take an active role in finding out about the professional/education backgrounds of these people, as well as trying to ascertain as much as we can about some of these character issue BEFORE we step into the voting booth.
chucklesinri October 18, 2011 at 04:10 PM
Was a nice store with great employees, but poorly placed too far into the park. Such a shame.
Govstench October 23, 2011 at 07:00 PM
This Quonset gateway has an access problem to Rt402 heading towards Rt. 4. There is provisions in the traffic lighting scheme on Post road for an on-ramp from Rt. 1 to Rt 402 but nothing was done about building the ramp. There is an abandoned building surrounded by trees and overgrowth of trees. What gives with the DOT? Instead of driving east to get onto Rt. 402, why not complete the job and install the ramp? So typical of this state - leave the job half done.
BoatME October 25, 2011 at 07:51 PM
It may be a sign of the times but it looks like Dave Preston is just making up a big excuse. The economy may be slow, but Lowes is in know way a failing company. I think QDC failed to make the proper efforts to keep business flowing in that area. You look at the new Gate Road plaza and it's simply pathetic. The design is terrible, the stores are empty, and no new construction is being done to bring in more businesses and customers to shop in those businesses. I'm sorry, but if I'm looking for an evening out to shop, I'm not going to stop there. No restaurants to entice people to spend a few hours. no additional shopping outside of groceries or Kohls. I feel QDC has done SQUAT to entice businesses to move into these vacant stores, continue to build atleast ONE food establishment (outside of a $5 sub). I think NK is also to blame for the "North End Ghost Town". Unless your business is in Wickford, they simply DON'T CARE. Meanwhile, over 100 people are losing their jobs just in time for the holidays. Go one town south and look at the South County Commons on RT 1. A thriving, well designed mixed use shopping center that attracts people to visit... how do I know, I go there all the time!
BoatME October 25, 2011 at 07:53 PM
I think you mean 403?
BoatME October 25, 2011 at 07:57 PM
this brings up the concern that North Kingstown is populated enough for district based voting. People in ALL sectors of North Kingstown need to be represented.
Govstench October 25, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Your right, it is Rt. 403. Regarding Lowe's, being that this store opened up when the economy was heading south probably contributed to the slow sales. The Kohl's store seems to be moving goods as there is plenty of activity in the parking lot. QDC is probably sitting on its hands and may only be able to give lip service to these businesses. Dolan sits on that board as well so the town is contributing to the welfare of that center. I differ with you on Wickford. Those businesses are also suffering, i.e. Wilsons and others. I think once the holiday season passes, you will see more businesses fold their tents. The banks are flush with cash but they are not lending.
Cyndie November 19, 2011 at 04:12 PM
I am one of those unfortunate employees at Lowe's in North Kingstown that closed. I will agree that the location of the store wasn't exactly ideal and perhaps a better, more visible spot would have made the difference. Here's the thing though, after it was announced via television, radio, etc... that the store would be closing we were packed with shoppers. Percentage discounts were never announced to the public but yet even the mere 10% markdown the first week was enough to make everyday working there seem like a black Friday sale. Where in the world were all these people before? Seems like a lot of people had no trouble finding the store then. Anyway, for what it's worth.....just wanted to give my opinion.

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