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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lowe's Closes Aurora and Oswego Stores | It's Not Just the National Economy

On Monday morning, shoppers at 20 Lowe's stores nationwide, including Aurora and Oswego, were surprised to find stores closed and signs covered for good.

While the slumping economy is part of the overall problem, many stores around the nation remain open.  A spokesperson for Lowe's said the stores in Aurora and Oswego were "under-performing."

An estimated 75 employees at Aurora and 86 at Oswego will receive up to 90 days of pay and benefits despite the closings.

Aurora and Oswego both have experienced huge population growth and housing construction in recent years, but with the frozen growth, experts say this points to the flawed economy of both communities.

An economist said "Lowe's is keeping stores open in other communities in the region affected by the same national economy while closing stores in two communities that were skyrocketing in growth says a lot about the lack of economic development and activity in the communities itself.  Without the housing boom, which was largely due to available land, it exposes the normal economic activity, or in this case, inactivity of the community."

Aurora made a big deal about the economic development this meant for the Orchard Road corridor on the far west side, which was supposed to potentially include other big box retailers such as Meijer, Wal-Mart and Target.

Buffalo Wild Wings had opened on Orchard Road, but only with a gift of $150,000 in sales tax rebates.

So, what's the status and future of Aurora's economic development?

Which is more likely to happen?  A big box replacement for Lowe's or another closure of a high-profile big box retailer?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

And by an economist, we mean Rick Lawrence.

Anonymous said...

i literally bought a new sliding door for my patio and and looked for floor tile at the oswego lowes sunday. i saw the sign on the door that they were closing early. i could of only thought is was a special event not a meeting to hear there being let go. i truely feel bad for the guys that helped my wife and i, i'm in the process of doin work on my home and use them as my "go to' store. im very disapointed that they closed both lowes by my home.

Anonymous said...

Lowes is investing in IT infrastructure and Internet sales. Lowes.com does tremendous business. the are starting to move in geographical areas to a hub and spoke delivery system. The real estate taxes in Aurora and Oswego make it very hard to make money selling pipe or shingles.

Also the Aurora Lowes made a strategic decision to cater to Hispanics...bad move as no one wanted to shop for high end appliances in an environment where people are barking in a guttural language right next to them over a toilet ring.

When you are planning on dropping 20 grand on a kitchen upgrade including appliances you want a bit different atmosphere. That mistake really hurt the in store appliance and kitchen design at the Aurora Lowes.

Anonymous said...

In this economy a "big box" store building that becomes empty will probably stay empty. How many times have we seen a "big box" store close and then some other franchise store comes in and it too fails within a year or so.

Anonymous said...

How much incentive money did Aurora give Lowes? And why? With a Home DEpot across the street we already were going to realive the home improvement sales tax!!

Anonymous said...

Just remember all the incentive monies Weisner has giben out to get buisnesses here and therefore we taxpayers lose out when he runs for re=election-and he is.

Anonymous said...

The only thing that should be thrown anywhere is ALL POLITICIANS, Federal Local and State next election. And they should be thrown out of office and their retirements eliminated.