Lowe's to close 31 Canadian locations, 20 more in U.S.

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Lowe's Companies Inc. says it plans to close 31 Canadian stores and other locations as part of a plan to focus on its most profitable operations.

The closures include 27 mostly Rona stores in Canada including nine in Ontario, nine in Quebec, six in Newfoundland and Labrador, two in Alberta and one in British Columbia. None of the Lowe’s or Rona stores in Ottawa will close as a result of Monday’s announcement.

Lowe's also plans to close its regional support centres in Mississauga, Ont., and St. John's, N.L., as well as a truss plant in St. John's, N.L., and a block plant in Kamloops, B.C.

Sylvain Prud'homme, chief executive of Lowe's Canada, said the changes will allow it to improve collaboration between its banners to better serve customers.

"Everything will be done to ensure a smooth transition until the stores are closed, and Lowe's Canada will support impacted employees, including by transferring eligible employees to other locations within our network whenever possible," Prud'homme said in a statement.

Lowe's says it expects to close the affected stores by the end of the company's 2018 financial year, Feb. 1, 2019.

The company is also closing 20 stores in the U.S.

The U.S. retailer acquired Rona Inc. in Canada in 2016 in a deal valued at $3.2 billion.

Based in Boucherville, Que., Lowe's Canadian business has more than 630 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores.

It includes Lowe's, Rona, Reno-Depot, Dick's Lumber, Contractor First and Ace.