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Lowe's Just Made Another Big Move to Cut Costs

Thousands of maintenance, assembly workers have been laid off
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2019 8:21 AM CDT
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In this Feb. 23, 2018, file photo, a Lowe's store is seen in Framingham, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – Lowe's has been stumbling of late, with lagging sales and store closures. Now the home improvement retailer is saying goodbye to thousands of jobs: Maintenance and assembly staff—the folks who put together items such as grills for customers—at all of the chain's 1,800 or so stores have been laid off, with outside companies taking over those roles. "We are moving to third-party assemblers and facility services to allow Lowe's store associates to spend more time on the sales floor serving customers," the company says in a statement, per CNBC. That statement also mentions laid-off employees will receive "transition pay," apparently in lieu of severance, which will come out to about two weeks of compensation for each full-time worker, an employee tells the Wall Street Journal.

"Associates [will] ... have the opportunity to apply for open roles at Lowe's," the company statement continues, though the Journal notes they aren't guaranteed the same hourly rate they were making. The job losses are a continuation of big moves by CEO Marvin Ellison, who has been trying to cut costs and grow profits since he came into the role last summer. The chain's sales growth hasn't been able to keep up with that of main competitor Home Depot. (Lowe's had one of the highest corporate tax rates just a couple of years ago.)

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