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Lowe’s to Cut Back on Store Openings


Mooresville, N.C. Lowe's will open fewer stores next year. The retailer reported that the soft U.S. economy and housing slump is hampering demand, according to a Reuters report.

Lowe’s is planning to open 75 to 85 new stores in 2009, down from about 120 it expects to open this year.

"While a pullback in the pace of our expansion is appropriate given the pressures in many markets, we continue to see opportunity for new store growth in the years ahead," Gregory Bridgeford, Lowe's executive VP for business development, said in a statement.

The retailer’s decision to pare down store growth for 2009 is not surprising. Earlier this year, Lowe's began halting openings in markets hardest hit by housing troubles.

At its 2007 analyst meeting, Lowe's reported it would open 135 to 145 stores in North America annually through 2010.

The company posted its fourth straight quarterly profit decline last month.

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