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The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that home improvement retailer Lowe’s plans to close almost 50 stores - 31 locations in Canada, including four offices and plants, and 20 in the US - as it seeks “to boost sales by shedding less-profitable locations and focus spending elsewhere.”

The move follows the decision by the company earlier this year to close its 99-store Orchard Supply Hardware chain.

“The store closures are a necessary step in our strategic reassessment as we focus on building a stronger business,” says Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s CEO.

The Journal writes that “Lowe’s sales have risen in recent years in line with a strong housing market and economy, but have been sluggish compared with competitor Home Depot.”
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