Lowe’s to close stores in Ellsworth, Biddeford

Pat Wellenbach/Associated Press

A customer is puzzled after trying to enter a Lowe's store in Biddford, Maine, on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011. Home-improvement retailer Lowe's Cos. said Monday it will close 20 underperforming stores in 15 states and cut 1,950 jobs in order to focus on more profitable locations.

Lowe’s is closing stores in Ellsworth and Biddeford as part of a wider decision to shut down 20 stores nationwide, according from a release from the home improvement chain.

 The Auburn location will remain open.

In the statement, the Mooresville, N.C.-based company said that 10 of the “underperforming” stores closed at the end of the business day on Sunday, Oct. 16, and the rest will close in about one month from now. Lowe’s said it still expected to open approximately 25 stores in 2011 and to open between 10 and 15 per year in North America going forward.

Glenn McGrath, a Lowe’s market director who was at the Ellsworth store Monday morning, said the store will be open until Nov. 13.

“The employees here did a really good job,” McGrath said. “It was totally a business decision.”

According to Lowe’s officials, the Ellsworth store, which opened in January 2008, has 83 employees — 51 full-time and 32 part-time. According to the city assessor’s online database, the 17-acre lot where the local Lowe’s store is located is owned by Lowe’s and has an assessed value of $16 million. The property generates more than $233,000 per year in local property taxes, the public database indicates.

An outgoing phone message at the Biddeford store said Monday morning that the store is permanently closed and directed business inquiries to the Lowe’s store in Scarborough.

According to additional information provided by Lowe’s Monday morning via email, the Biddeford store had 102 employees — 59 full-time and 43 part-time. That store opened Oct. 24, 2006.

The Journal Tribune reported Monday the closing in Biddeford is the latest blow to The Shops at Biddeford Crossing, which also lost a Linens ‘n’ Things, an Old Navy, and two restaurants in recent years.

McGrath said employees in Ellsworth will receive pay and benefits for 60 days after the store shuts down and will be eligible for other available Lowe’s jobs at other locations. The company plans to work with government agencies to help laid off employees find other jobs, he said.

“It’s a sad day here,” he said.

Besides the Ellsworth and Biddeford locations, Lowe’s has 11 other stores in Maine between Presque Isle and Sanford.

Lowe’s President and CEO Robert A. Niblock said in a prepared statement that Lowe’s remains committed to generating shareholder value and creating long-term customer loyalty.

“Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on hard-working employees and local communities,” Niblock said. “However, we have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position.”

The closings are expected to result in approximately 1,950 employees losing their jobs nationwide, the company said. Those affected will receive pay and benefits for two to three months, Lowe’s officials said.

Other Lowe’s stores in New England that are closing are three in New Hampshire — in Claremont, Hookset and Manchester — one in Haverhill, Mass., and another in North Kingstown, R.I.

Lowe’s stores are also being closed in Los Banos and Westminster in California; Aurora and Oswego in Illinois; Old Bridge, N.J.; Batavia, N.Y.; Denver, Colo.; Ionia, Mich.; Rogers, Minn.; Emporia, Va.; S. Tacoma, Wash.; Chalmette, La.; and Brown Deer, Wis.

According to the company, Lowe’s had sales of $48.8 billion in 2010 and has more than 1,700 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Reprinted with permission from Bangor Daily News.

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David  Cote's picture

The world according to one Daniel Breton

Okay, Daniel. No namecalling and no insults coming from my keyboard. Fact is our Governor, nor his policies have nothing to do with a corporate decision from a national chain to close a number of stores nationwide. You need to prove to me LePage had anything to do with Lowe's decision to close some stores in Maine.

David  Cote's picture


Again Dan, the content of my last post involves a national chain company and its manager's decision to close a select number of stores throughout the United States, including three here in Maine. It has nothing to do with Paul LePage. Nor would Libby Mitchell or Eliot Cutler have anything to do with it if they held the office of governor. Your comment seems to be borne from a larger picture you want to display and in this context that picture doesn't fit. The bottom line is Lowe's didn't bring their "A" game to the show in the areas affected. Those store's lack of performance have nothing to do with government, for if that was the factor then shouldn't we blame Obama since these closures occured on a nationwide scale?

David  Cote's picture

Nice try, Dan

I'm not about to let you bait me into your quagmire of political abyss, that desolate place where political arguments are never likely to be solved. And those arguments fester due to attitudes such as yours. That is, an attitude that refuses to listen to any alternative viewpoint presented. Anyhow, I've spoken my peace and I agree to disagree with you. Have a nice day, Dan.

 's picture


This is sad...Lowe's is better then Home Depot...

David  Cote's picture

Lowe's vs. Home Depot

In some ways Lowe's is better than Home Depot. Lowe's is certainly a fancier looking store. I've been told by a couple of people that work at the Auburn Lowe's the store's schematics are designed to attract the female consumer, and though that may sound a bit sexist it does bear some truth. The main difference between the two stores, and the reason Lowe's is getting buried by Home Depot is because Home Depot is the store of choice for building, plumbing and heating contractors. They all get deeper discounts through Home Depot because Home Depot moves much more product volume than Lowe's. So esentially Lowe's is relegated to being merely an fancy, oversized hardware store. I have also had negative experiences returning items to Lowe's. And the attendants at Home Depot do possess more product knowledge and general know-how than Lowe's Employees. And the extra sharpness of Lowe's setup versus Home Depot's no frills look comes at a price, a price which is passed on to your purchase at Lowe's.

 's picture


I live in Florida now...I am from Maine...I like the Lowe's down here better then I do Home Depot...


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