Employees of Batavia Lowe's told store closing, layoffs coming
The 90 or so employees of the Lowe's store in Batavia were called in for a mandatory meeting Sunday night and told that the store will be closing.
While employees after the meeting said the closing date is set for Jan. 13, store Manager Ray Robare said there is "no sure, hard date" for the closing.
Starting tomorrow, every item in the store will be 10-percent off, Robare said, and the store will start operating on reduced hours. Tomorrow it will open at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.
The employees we spoke with said there is a severance package available, perhaps as long as three-months pay, but the clock starts ticking on it tomorrow, even for those employees who finish out the final weeks of the store.
Robare said, however, that those details are still being worked out and, "it's something that tomorrow we'll start discussing with employees."
As for whether some employees, especially managers, might have job opportunities at other Lowe's locations, Robare said that's something that is still being worked out.
Robare said he couldn't discuss the reason for closing that corporate leaders might have shared with managers.
One employee said, "If I told you the real story, I might get in trouble."
The Lowe's location is leased and sits directly across Veterans Memorial Drive from The Home Depot.
UPDATE 9:26 a.m., Monday: Lowe's issued the following press release this morning:
Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW), announced today the company is closing 20 underperforming stores in 15 states. Ten locations closed at the end of business Sunday, Oct. 16. The remaining 10 locations will close within approximately one month, following an inventory sell-through.
In addition, after completing a comprehensive review of its pipeline of proposed new stores, the company announced it has discontinued a number of planned new store projects. Lowe's now expects to open 10 to 15 stores per year in North America from 2012 forward, compared to a prior assumption of approximately 30 stores per year. The company is on track to open approximately 25 stores in 2011, as planned.
The expected financial impact of today's announcements of $0.17 to $0.20 per diluted share was not contemplated in the business outlook for fiscal 2011 which the company provided on Aug. 15 when it released its second-quarter earnings. Additional details regarding the impact of the store closings will be provided in the next quarterly earnings release on Nov. 14.
"Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on hard-working employees and local communities," said Robert A. Niblock, chairman, president and CEO. "However, we have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position.
"Lowe's remains committed to making strategic investments and focusing resources in a manner that will generate the greatest shareholder value, enhance the customer shopping experience and create sustained customer loyalty over the long term," added Niblock.
Approximately 1,950 employees will be affected by these closings. Employees will receive pay and benefits for 60-90 days. In addition, Lowe's will be working with local government agencies to help employees with outplacement assistance.
The stores affected by today's announcement are located in:
Los Banos, CA Biddeford, ME Old Bridge, NJ
Westminster, CA Ellsworth, ME Batavia, NY
Denver, CO Ionia, MI N. Kingstown, RI
Aurora, IL Rogers, MN Emporia, VA
Oswego, IL Claremont, NH S. Tacoma, WA
Chalmette, LA Hooksett, NH Brown Deer, WI
Haverhill, MA Manchester, NH
Wow that sucks. I like Lowes a lot more than Home Depot.
What has Howard been telling y'all? The chains don't give a shit about you, buy your lumber supplies from the Genesee Lumber Company. I have been assured it is still there just like when it was the only place to buy lumber. Home Depot is slimey too, and they don't care either. The truth is turds need to swirl down the drain and be forgotten. I've never forgotten Genesee Lumber Company because my Grandpa was a Carpenter, he built houses, stores and banks and I helped by being his constant sidekick. I feel sorry for Batavia today, your soul is having a problem shining through the mist.
I don't buy lumber....
So Phil, who do you know that gives you free lumber? I want to be their friend too.
Its actually Genesse Lumber. Lovely to see our big anchor store of the new consumer square gone. Will be a nice barren parking lot to race RC cars next year. The management at Lowes top to bottom was a joke anyway.
LOL....let me rephrase....I have no need to procure lumber of any kind.
Maybe another Evangelical Church can move in. It's hard to beat tax free. I hope that doesn't sound negative but damn I have this overwhelming urge to say I told you so. Howard is too much of a gentleman to do it, so please hate my ass instead.
Man, you Wal Marters scare me too.
This is what I'm talking about dudes and dudettes: http://geneseelumber.com/
Boost Batavia and tell the big box stores to please let the door hit them in the ass as they leave town. "What's so funny about Peace, lumber and understanding?"
I like that guy.
There's no I told you so here.
While we have some good local stores that might pick up some extra business, there's still the other side of the coin on this.
At the end of the day, the story here is none too happy -- a store that contributes to the tax base is closing, 90 people will be out of work, and the community is going to be stuck with a big hulk of a building that can serve pretty much no other purpose than as a big box store and so is likely to sit empty for a long, long time (unless somebody comes up with a creative idea of what to do with the space). None of that is good for any of us.
You are absolutely right Howard, it sucks. Did they get PILOT incentive to build there? I know it is a bummer but something isn't right in Batavia and I can see that from 1700 miles away. I'm also an excellent back seat driver and my wife assures me that I am a more than proficient know it all. What does she know?
We need a gander Mt. Out here so i can stop going to Rochester every week!
Maybe WNYOTB can buy or rent the building and place a thousand or more VLTs. It seems to be one of the grow leaders in this area.
Lowe, Lowe, Lowe your store, gently down the road, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, jobs are but a dream.....
This happen in August 2011 -
and two months later, it is happening again.
ELGIN IL— If you called the Elgin Lowe’s on Monday, the message delivered the bad news. The store has closed abruptly.
The company shut down its store in Schaumburg, too, along with five other stores across the country after business Sunday. Between them, the two northwest suburban Lowe’s stores employed about 200 people.
City Councilman Rich Dunne, who lives just a few blocks from the Elgin Lowe’s and shopped there, said, “This is a loss for Elgin, but a bigger loss for the 84 people who worked at the Elgin store and their families.”
........Kaptain said he and his wife drove past the store around noon Monday and its signage already had been removed. He called the closing unfortunate and a casualty of the bad economy.
“They anticipated growth that has yet to happen,” Kaptain said.
With the housing market still depressed, Kaptain also noted that unemployment among Elgin tradesmen is about 50 percent, which impacts stores such as Lowe’s.
The Elgin and Schaumburg employees will be paid through the middle of October. The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires employers to give 60 days’ notice to employees and their unions prior to closing any location with 75 or more workers.
As required by Elgin ordinance, the store has filed a plan for closing with the fire department. The regulation is in place in part to make sure hazardous materials are handled or disposed of properly, officials said.
...........Assistant City Manager Rick Kozal said the Elgin Lowe’s opened in 2007 and that no incentives were granted for the chain to locate here.
The closing is symptomatic of issues the company is having, he said.
.............Lowe’s Cos. said Monday its second-quarter net income was nearly flat as volatile weather and shoppers’ worries about the economy muted demand during the key summer selling season.
Lowe’s is the nation’s second-largest home improvement retailer. Its net income for the three months ending July 29 totaled $830 million, or 64 cents per share. That compares with $832 million, or 58 cents per share, last year.
“Despite some recovery in our seasonal business, our performance for the quarter fell short of our expectations,” CEO Robert A. Niblock said in a statement.
Lowe’s operates 1,753 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Another in August 2011
MERIDEN, Conn. – Lowe’s Home Improvement Co. closed an unprofitable store here last week, along with six other locations nationwide, as it seeks to trim costs.
Lowe’s shut the Meriden store, open since only 2008, because it never reached anticipated sales performance levels, spokeswoman Katie B. Cody said.
“There was no scenario that led to profitability,” she said.
The store closed at the end of business Sunday, Cody said, with employees learning of the closing that day. The 94 employees will receive their pay and benefits for 60 days. Lowe’s also is encouraging them to apply for openings at other Lowe’s stores, Cody said.
,,,,,,,,,,,,News of the closure came just days after the Mooresville, N.C.-based company -- the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world after The Home Depot -- announced flat profits for the quarter ending July 29. Net earnings dipped by about 2.2 percent from the same period a year ago, according to the corporation's website.
Analysts had expected second-quarter earnings of 66 cents per share on sales of $14.77 billion, but Lowe's reported earnings of just 64 cents per share on sales of $14.54 billion -- a $230 million shortfall. Lowe's had sales last year of $48.8 billion.
..........The Lowe's store at 1600 Boston Road in Springfield was not affected by the closures. Although the company is reviewing all of its stores, there are no additional closings anticipated at this time, Cody said.
Lowes Closes Seven Stores Following Poor Quarterly Report
August 16, 2011
After missing its estimated forecast for its second quarter, Lowes abruptly closed seven under performing stores on Monday, leaving hundreds unemployed and taking the affected communities by surprise, several news reports show.
Two Chicago-area Lowes closed. Other communities that lost stores are Kenai, Alaska, Ticonderoga, N.Y., Meriden, Ga., Cambridge, Minn., and Riverdale, Ga.
Lowe's also cut its fiscal year outlook, the second time it has done so in three months, the Chicago Tribune reports. Its shares were down 1.3 percent at the end of trading on Monday.
Bad times for LOWES all around, Jimmy Johnson crashed the LOWES car and fell to 8th place in the Sprint Cup Series Chase for the cup.
I hope someone didn't bet the store on him!!!
Maybe the town of Batavia should hire a consulting firm to see if customers at Lowes had bad attitudes, or if it was city residents coming in with their bad attitudes?
This has been coming for awhile. Business news articles have been talking about Lowe's problems for awhile. Home Depot was getting beat by them and had a management shake up. Like them or not, Home Depot provided much better customer service than Lowe's. And their discounts to veterans didn't hurt either. Like Phil, I have very little need to buy lumber, but do buy other hardware items and tools. Lowe's had become a pain to shop at, so if Value didn't have what I wanted, I usually went to Home Depot.
I feel bad for the employees at Lowes, but from the day I heard that Lowes was coming to Batavia, I knew it was a bad idea. Especially across the street from Home Depot. Maybe a Sams Club or Big Lots will come to the space. We don't need another vacant building!
Maybe we can get Wegman's to come in. LOVE that store! Great employer too!
"Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on hard-working employees and local communities," said Robert A. Niblock, chairman, president and CEO. "However, we have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position."
In other words, screw our employees, screw local communities, we only care about what Wall Street thinks.
You will never see Wegman's in Batavia.
Howard, while I agree with your sentiment, if a business is losing money, it makes sense to close it down. Even a local business owner would not operate at a deficit year after year just to essentially be a social welfare program for its employees.
Greg - Lowes and Home Depot often build near each other. It's the same concept as fast food chains building in close proximity. Here's an article explaining the reason:
Howard don't be so negative............What do you think they should do...Stay open even if they are losing money...Would the Batavian still be on line if you weren't making some kind of living at it.........
How do you know they're losing money?
The news release says the stores are underperforming. It doesn't say they're losing money.
For a publicly traded retail company, shareholders would be looking for profit margins of 3 or 4 percent, maybe a bit higher.
If a store's margin is only 2 percent, it's profitable, but underperforming, therefore, it's got to go.
A non-publicly traded company, or one not entirely driven by profit margin, or a locally owned business would take an entirely different approach.
And Mark, if a publicly traded company owned The Batavian, it wouldn't be in business. I'm making a living, but I'm not producing profit margins anywhere close to what is expected in the media sector for a publicly traded business.
Keeping stores that are not profitable open only puts other stores in the chain at more risk. I think we all know that and this is not the first time this has happened. Around here remember chains like Twin Fair, Ames, Kings, Western Auto, etc. Some chains make it, some don't.
One employee said, "If I told you the real story, I might get in trouble."
I wonder if there is a "real story" or if that employee just knows some gossip that was going around the store? Probably nothing to that comment at all, you think?
This would be a great place for a new 4 or 6 plex cinema. Great covered entrance for drop off and pick up. Plus this would keep a lot of "entertaiment" dollars local instead of it migrating to Galleria Mall or points east in Rochester. Perhaps partner with a local pizzaria to reloacate their location into the building as well and maybe throw a new arcade in while you're at it.
One thing that does tend to be recession proof is the money parents will spend on/for their kids. Just an idea......
Marc, great idea.
I like that idea, too! But I think I heard a long time ago that Batavia wouldn't be able to get the really popular movies until the bigger markets did, due to our size. Maybe add a roller rink or something? Indoor putt-putt?
If 'birds of a feather, flock together', will Home Depot also depart for greener pastures because it doesn't have Lowe's in it's back yard?
The Town of Batavia had a boom in it's economy when all of the cookie cutter stores decided to flock in one place. Will they all head 'south' at the same time too?
That area looks like the entrance to thousands of cities across the nation. Close your eyes and you wouldn't know where you are (if it wasn't for the looming Batavia Downs Sign).
Thinking of an idea for one vacant building is difficult. Deciding what to do with an entire plaza of empty stores is another.
Welcome to the reality of business. The city of Batavia is still suffering because of it's lack of 'real' Main St. It forced businesses out in favor of easy urban renewal money. They looked with envy as they saw the Town build up it's area with stores and agonized over the loss of the tax money that could have been theirs.
The balloon may burst for the Town of Batavia. If it does, will residents of the Town still want consolidation talks to wither away?
Lowe's is not closing for greener pastures, the store is not relocating. It's closing, like the others even you noted.
Why would Home Depot move when it's main competition leaves? It will probably see an increase in business.
And try to remember, a private development company tired to buy the mall, with a good plan to tear it down and rebuild it further back from Main Street. But too many store owners refused the offer.
I feel sorry for the workers at Lowe's in Batavia and hope they will be able to rebound sooner rather than later. I would love for Big Lots to come to Batavia as I am a super fan of the store. I also think Batavia needs a multiplex cinema, something with three or four screens. Jack is right. Wegmans will never set foot in Genesee County, at least not in the foreseeable future. Our "demographics" are not compatible with their target market. They are a homegrown "Cadillac" grocery chain and they aren't likely to put a store in a predominantly "Kia" venue.
Just a point of clarification for you folks who keep saying, 'What are they supposed to do? They're losing money.'
Nowhere does it say that any of the closing stores are losing money. It just says that they are 'under-performing.' This is corporate-speak for not profiting at the levels we projected, thus effing up our stock price. 'Underperforming' should never be confused with 'losing money' when you're talking about corporations this size.
In August of this year, analysts had expected second-quarter earnings of 66 cents per share on sales of $14.77 billion, but Lowe's reported earnings of just 64 cents per share on sales of $14.54 billion -- a $230 million shortfall. Lowe's had sales last year of $48.8 billion.
They have to keep those stockholders happy. I often wonder how people can celebrate when they get that dividend check knowing that they are sucking off the misfortune of those who are no longer employed?
Oh, and those unemployed. Damn, more of that money that could be spent playing the market is going to go toward helping them until they can find work again. Winter is coming on, maybe they can find work digging for potatoes in the frozen muckland.
They must be in a awful hurry to leave Batavia behind... I just went online to see what freezers Lowe's has so that I might be able to take advantage of the 10% off sale. Batavia no longer shows up as a local store. Geesh!
@Lori, Batavia Lowes is now an unperson. There never was a Lowes, We have always shopped at Valu or Home Depot.
We express our discomfort, losing a business that funneled money to North Carolina (with regret to the fate of local employees) and worry over another retailer (Home Depot) that shuttles our money to Atlanta, Georgia. Did we feel the same loss when Genesee Hardware closed its doors, Wicke's went under or Salways folded? ...Not to ignore local contractors forced to compete with big box construction teams. Are we rallying around the remaining local-owned businesses that keep our revenue local? Genesee Lumber? Mosman's? Will's? Byron's Gillett Hardware? LeRoy's Crockers? East Pembroke's Seamans Hardware? Batavia Plumbing? Corfu's Potters Lumber? Or will we travel to Williamsville, Brockport and Greece to further bleed money away from Genesee County? That mentality, driven by corporate-owned media, is exactly what the recent economic study refers to- part lemming behavior, part compulsiveness, part low-self-esteem, part impressionability. We've been duped by glitzy advertising to step outside our communities whenever we feel the urge to purchase. Until we regain control of our spending habits, we will never regain the Main Street we once knew. We dislike high taxes, yet we have no problem maximizing revenue flow to Erie and Monroe counties' tax coffers.
Food for thought: how many abandoned retail shells are required to teach us the value of supporting local businesses?
While I doubt they'll ever come here, I'd love to see a Gander Mountain. Yep, its a box store, but I can not buy the gear I want anyplace in Genesee County.
...And I have to get a shot in on the Wegman's pitch. Batavia had a great local market with the name, Marchese, over the door. If locals had supported Marchese's, it would likely still be here- as customer-driven as any other. Wegman's is Wegman's because Star, Loblaw's, IGA, A & P, Hart and a herd of others went under. ...And it's about to bail, taking its headquarters to New Jersey- just ask Princess Colleen.
Anyone who was around in 1972 should recall, the charge to get the Mall built was fueled by promises of anchor stores, primarily Penney's. Batavia had a slew of clothing/shoe stores for men and women. The half-a-Penney's store was no trade off for losing what we had. Blame for the mall, the drive to infest Batavia with outside franchises is alive and well.
...And between Batavia Marine, Salway's and The Outdoor Store- we wouldn't need Gander Mountain, either.
What kind of gear is that John? I'm sure if Barret's or Hunter's landing doesn't have it in stock they could get it.
I would love to see a Wegmans in Batavia. Unfortunately what Jack said is true. My father in law used to do scouting for new store locations and the majority of Batavian's incomes are too low.
Camp gear like Kelty tents, large backpacks, things like Jetboil stoves, steriPen water purifiers, good selection of sleeping bags, etc.
I don't hunt anymore, so I guess for firearms or archery gear, there are local choices, but could not say for sure.
The local stores are mostly focused on hunting and fishing, not camping and backpacking.
John - Try Silver Trail Outfitters on Main Street in Perry. The store just opened within the past month. I haven't had a chance to visit it yet but I believe they either are or will be carrying alot of what you're looking for. Be sure to check out Canaan's Butcher Block next door if you go. Their various sausages are some of the best I've had anywhere, and I'm pretty fussy about what I would consider good sausage.
Can't hurt to try them next time I'm down that way, which is not very often. You'll probably go there before me, so let us all know.
Most small, independent stores cater to the hunting/fishing crowd because that's where the money is. Of course, online stores like Cabela's and Campmor are great.
Anyone with a brain should have known Lowes wouldn't last in Batavia. How many hardware stores/home improvement places do you think Batavia can support?? We have Ace,Home Depot,Valu,Genesee Lumber..... I foresee Gui's Lumber(Ace) and Valu not being around much longer,either. Anytime I ever go by them,there's only a couple cars in front.Biggest mistake Valu made was moving to where they are now-was much more convenient when they were on east end of town(next to fairgrounds). I wonder what K-marts future is-I used to get sale flyer in the paper on Saturdays(buy in store)-hasn't been in the paper last 3 weeks(have purchased paper at different locations)-speaking of businesses-doesn't look like much is going on at Seagull Haven (where Save-A-Lot is supposed to go)-anyone heard a time frame on that? I bet within 2 years Petco and Bed,Bath and Beyond will be shuttered also.....
WITH TODAYS ECONOMY DOESNT SMART MONEY GO AND BUY LUMBER WHERE ITS LESS EXPENSIVE?