Am I Next? Lowe's shutting down Orchard Supply Hardware, 4000 employees face layoffs.

As part of a major restructuring effort, the home improvement retailer, Mooresville, North Carolina-based Lowe’s, will be closing all 99 Orchard Supply Hardware stores in California, Oregon, and Florida and laying off approximately 4,000 employees. 

According to Lowe’s President and CEO, Marvin R. Ellison...

“We are committed to driving even stronger performance in the future by sharpening our focus on retail fundamentals and by limiting any projects and initiatives that take us away from our core mission of being a great omnichannel home improvement retailer. I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and commitment to the company. While it was a necessary business decision to exit Orchard Supply Hardware, decisions that impact our people are never easy. We will be providing outplacement services for impacted associates, and they will be given priority status if they choose to apply for other Lowe's positions." 

"In addition to the decision to exit Orchard Supply Hardware, we are developing plans to aggressively rationalize store inventory, reducing lower-performing inventory while investing in increased depth of high-velocity items. Exiting Orchard Supply Hardware and rationalizing inventory are the driving force behind the changes to Lowe's Business Outlook. Our strategic reassessment is ongoing as we evaluate the productivity of our real estate portfolio and non-retail business investments.  We will update you on the changes to our strategy at the upcoming analyst and investor conference in December [2018]."

Ironically, the closure comes five years after Lowe’s acquired San Jose, California-based Orchard Supply Hardware out of bankruptcy from Sear’s Holdings, the slow-moving disaster presided over by Eddie Lampert. Sears acquired the chain in 1996 and in an attempt at financial engineering to bolster the faltering Sears operation, spun off OSH as a separate business in 2012 – which then crashed and burned into bankruptcy in June 2013 when it was crushed by hundreds of millions of acquisition debt.

Are you wondering, Am I Next?