Lowe’s Q2 falls short of expectations

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s reported sales of $14.5 billion in the second quarter ended July 29, up 1.3% from the same period a year ago.

Comparable-store sales increased 0.3% in the second quarter. The company posted earnings for the quarter of $830 million, down just slightly from $832 million in the same quarter last year.

“Despite some recovery in our seasonal business, our performance for the quarter fell short of our expectations,” commented Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “We are working diligently to improve sales and profitability in the near term in a way that we believe will generate sustained customer preference and shareholder value. We are also building momentum in 2011 behind our longer-term commitment to deliver even better customer experiences.”

Lowe's closed seven stores on Sunday, which it mentioned in its financial results but did not elaborate on. But Lowe’s spokeswoman Julie Yenichek identified the locations as Meriden, Conn.; Riverdale, Ga.; Elgin and Schaumburg, Ill.; Kenai, Alaska.; Cambridge, Minn.; and Ticonderoga N.Y.

“Unfortunately, despite the hard work of the store’s employees and their commitment to outstanding customer service, we do not foresee a scenario that leads to profitability for [these] stores,” Yenichek told Home Channel News. Approximately 650 employees will be affected by these closings and will be able to apply for open positions in other Lowe’s stores, she added.

During the quarter, Lowe’s opened two stores. As of July 29, 2011, Lowe’s operated 1,753 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing 197.6 million sq. ft. of retail selling space, a 1.5% increase over last year.