Ellison previously spent more than 12 years at Lowe's rival, Home Depot, and is the former CEO of J.C. Penney Co.
While Lowe's is far smaller and less exposed to the arrival of Amazon and other online sellers, the closures follow a wave of similar moves by traditional US retailers in the face of greater online competition. The closures affect 13 states, including four locations in California and two in IL. "We will work hard to ensure this transition is as smooth as possible for our associates and customers", he added. The closings are expected to occur on or around January 3, Lowe's said in the WARN notice. He likes Ellison's willingness to act quickly, and while we'll get more details at the company's investor day next month, he believes that Lowe's multiyear turnaround is "still in the early innings". There are also 31 in Canada that will close, according to the company. Other high-profile positions were eliminated and replaced with other roles that report to the CEO.
In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Ellison said retooling inventory is one of the "retail fundamentals" that has to be addressed first.