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Lowe’s Closing 20 Stores, Including 1 In Rogers, Minn.

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(credit: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. says it will close 20 underperforming stores in 15 states and cut 1,950 jobs in a move that it says will allow it to focus on more profitable locations.

Ten locations were closed Sunday; the other 10 will close in a month. That number includes a store in Rogers, Minn.

Before the closures Lowe’s operated 1,725 stores.

Lowe’s, based in Mooresville, N.C., also says it will only open 10 to 15 stores in North America annually beginning in 2012. Previously the company expected to open 30 stores per year. It will open 25 stores this year.

Lowe’s says the moves will cost it 17 cents to 20 cents per share in 2011.

In August, Lowe’s said volatile weather and shoppers’ worries about the economy hurt demand. Its net income was nearly flat in the second quarter and the company lowered its yearly sales forecast.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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