United States

Lowe's Lays Off Thousands of Workers

The company plans to outsource jobs of maintenance and assembly workers to third-party companies

Home improvement retailer Lowe's has told thousands of workers that their jobs are being eliminated.

The company plans to outsource jobs of maintenance and assembly workers to third-party companies. The assembly workers put together products such as wheelbarrows and grills.

"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. Associates who were in these positions will be given transition pay and have the opportunity to apply for open roles at Lowe's," the company said in a statement to CNBC.

News of the layoffs was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The company said in a securities filing earlier this year that, as of Feb. 1, it had roughly 190,000 full-time employees and another 110,000 part-time workers.

Lowe's has added jobs outside of its traditional retail centers. The company announced in April that it is opening a new technology center in North Carolina and would hire up to 2,000 employees there.

The company's stock, which has a market value of $78 billion, closed down nearly 2% on Thursday. Lowe's shares are up nearly 8% since the start of the year.

Since CEO Marvin Ellison took over in July 2018, Lowe's has been shuttering stores to reduce costs. The company said it currently has 1,725 stores in the United States.

The store closures have been part of a bigger trend in retail. So far this year, more than 7,000 store closures have been announced by U.S. retailers , according to a tracking done by Coresight Research. And the tally could top 12,000 by the end the year, setting a record, Coresight says. Last year, Coresight tracked 5,524 store closures, down more than 30% from an all-time high of 8,139 closures announced in 2017.

This story first appeared at CNBC.com. More from CNBC:

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