Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Home improvement megachain Lowe's said Monday it will close more than 50 stores in the United States and Canada because they're under-performing.
The retailer announced it will close 20 stores in the United States and 31 in Canada. Most employees will be allowed to transfer to a different store in some cases, it said.
The majority of the affected stores have another Lowe's within 10 miles, the company said.
Lowe's said most stores will offer major discounts prior to their closures, but some will shut down immediately. All 51 stores will be closed by Feb. 1, the end of the company's fiscal year.
Workers were notified late Sunday.
"While decisions that impact our associates are never easy, the store closures are a necessary step in our strategic reassessment as we focus on building a stronger business," said Lowe's CEO Marvin Ellison. "We believe our people are the foundation of our business and essential to our future growth, and we are making every effort to transition impacted associates to nearby Lowe's stores."
The company expects the closures to impact its stock price, from 28 to 34 cents per diluted share.
The move Monday came as Mooresville, N.C.,-based Lowe's struggles to compete with rival Home Depot.
Lowe's shook up its executive suite recently, hiring a new chief information officer from Target. Other high-profile positions were eliminated and replaced with other roles that report to the CEO.
Ellison said the moves are part of a "transformation," but not a "turnaround" -- like Plano, Texas,-based J.C. Penney experienced when he was the department store's chief executive for three years.
Lowe's operates nearly 2,400 stores in the United States and Canada.