Lowe’s Closes Stores In Elgin, Schaumburg

Updated 08/15/11 – 5:17 p.m.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBS) — Two Chicago suburbs are suffering a major economic blow, as the Lowe’s home improvement chain closes stores.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, calls to the Lowe’s stores in Schaumburg and Elgin result in a recorded message: “We’re sorry but this location is permanently closed.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

The move has put nearly 200 workers in Schaumburg and Elgin out of a job and some of them first found out about it on Monday when they showed up for work.

The nation’s second largest home improvement store chain – behind Home Depot – is shutting down seven stores nationwide as it struggles against the ongoing troubles in the housing industry.

As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, the letters were already gone at the Lowe’s in Schaumburg on Monday, as security guards checked in the center’s 110 former employees to learn about two-month health and severance packages.

Mike DeBord, who’s worked there for three years, was trying to stay positive.

“I am not 100 percent sure what I am going to do yet,” he said. “But I intend on being happy with whatever situation I’ve decided to put myself in.”

Other employees, nervous about speaking on camera, said many of them were jittery after learning of the closings.

“A buddy of mine, he has two little ones and, you know, he is in frantic mode right now, what is he going to do?” one former employee said.

In a tough economy for home construction and remodeling both the Elgin and Schaumburg stores were underperforming.

A Lowes spokesperson said “there is simply not enough volume in today’s market to have the number of stores we have in the immediate area.”

The closure also impacts local suppliers, who sold their goods through Lowes. Many were on hand to remove their displays. Mid-American Growers was loading up trucks to transfer its greenery to the chain’s other locations. Lowes is one of Mid-American’s biggest clients.

Schaumburg remians one of the state’s stronger retail centers, but village officials were working the phones on Monday trying to find another business to take over the space Lowe’s once occupied.

“This econmic depression we’re going through and not out of yet has had an impact on us,” Schaumburg Village President Al Larson said.

In these days of a weak economy, the closure is anything but a consumer confidence builder.

The closings come on the same day that Lowe’s is reporting that second quarter earnings fell short of expectations and predicting that third quarter sales will also be flat.

The two stores employed about a hundred workers each. For Schaumburg, this is the second big chain store it’s losing. Borders announced recently it was liquidating all of its book stores nationwide.

  • GO Southside

    What a shame! BUT HEY we wanted change,
    We got it! Department stores and Factories have closed or moved operations to different parts of the world. What has the GREAT CHANGE MAKER DONE SO FAR?

  • swizzle

    Yeah, all these problems are the responsibilityof the Republicans, not the democrats. It is up to the House and Senate to get the job done, not Obama, and it’s the House that has obstructed everything and caused the problems you see today.
    Remember, it was the GOP that said they wanted this nation to ‘fail’ when Obama was elected and it’s obvious that this is what they wanted.

  • Coppington

    I’ll miss having the Lowes only a mile from my house (Schaumburg). Its was nice having another place (selection wise) to pick from. This store was across the street from Home Depot, and I think the competition wasn’t helping, but I think both stores seemed to have slower business than in the past. Except for the garden center, I was amazed at how slow the traffic is lately, even on Saturday and weekday mornings when contractors and handymen used to make the places busy.

  • Jason Dubas

    There were Lowe’s in Schaumburg and Elgin?

    • Fletchguy

      You have to be joking right? The senate which has been democratic controled for since clinton shuts down the House bills. The house has only been republican for a short time. The failed economy is squarely on Obama. All of his plans and ideas result in failure and more unemployment with huge debt. i suggest you at least go look at basic numbers and basic politics as appearently your in lala land and making things up you wish you were right on but are exactly the opposite on and just flat out wrong. Dems run the congress and the President seat and are responsible for passing failed bills..dummy.

      • Vote R

        @Fletchguy.. Don’t bother talking common sense to True Believers. They forget that their Messiah +his cohort ruled the country unopposed for almost 2 yrs. However, the True Believers do remember who’s who and where on American Idol etc.

  • Dave G.

    What a shame and a complete surprise!!! I had been shopping there since the store opened a few years back. I had come to know a few of their employees on a first name basis and I ALWAYS experienced friendly service from all of their associates. It was nothing like the Home Depot across the street where the employees will walk the other way if they happen to see you looking for help…

  • Bo

    Both of the stores were in bad locations, and corporate built them too quickly. Schaumburg is close to the Arlington Heights store, which is ALWAYS busy. I’m sure the AH store drew a lot of customers from Schaumburg. And not only was Elgin not a really a prime location, it was also in between two semi-busy stores (St. Charles and LITH.) It’s really a shame, though, that so many people lost their jobs. I hope they find new opportunities quickly.

    • Fletchguy

      The Elgin location was fine as Elgin is a large city with what were large building areas happening when it was built. The issue is the housing market is gone, Obama has destroyed the economy and economic outlook has no consumer confidence. then add the fact lowes is a good 15-25% higher then Home depot or Menards which it is between and has shoddy lumber just didn’t help.

  • Charlie Sheen


  • http://workatbestbuy.wordpress.com workatbby

    Wow that is jsut so so sad, What are we gfoing to do now?


  • dan

    They got on in a bad location in Lincolnwood too-Never seems swamped like the Home Depot nearby.

    Lowe’s strategy here was to set up shop near the existing Home Depot stores and siphon off business which worked while things were booming.

    Home Depot responded by adding a bunch of slightly smaller stores to head them off

    Survival of the fitest-this is only the beginning just watch

  • Concern

    NO MONEY – Charity Search Engines

  • need lower prices

    Lowe’s stores in the south suburbs are too expensive. For instance, the same tractor gas filter is $13 at Lowes and $9 at Home Depot.

  • Against ObamaNOmics

    Greed is to blame. City of Elgin, Village of Schaumburg and Lowe’s Corporate are all responsible. Another ugly vacant store building to add to the growing skeleton landscape. Guess Lowe’s wasn’t offered the tax incentive. No surprise there…. Nice.

  • Chris

    I amazes me how intellectually weak consumers are, that they can be coaxed to buy simply by the color on the signs. I compare Lowes to Target; I am more than willing to pay more for a product to have a more pleasant shopping experience. Home Depot lost my business many years ago with their complete lack of customer service and their unkempt and crowded stores.
    I noticed a comment about a part that was $4 difference between stores. I know that kind of customer, which will spend a dollar to save a dime. That is the problem with obtuse consumers these days; they cannot differentiate value and cost.
    As a contractor, this was the only store that could meet my needs, beat competitor’s prices, and always had what I needed. My time has a value associated with it, and Lowes was able to save me enough time, and therefore money, to stay alive and busy in a tough economy.
    It disgusts me to think that people are willing to wait in longer lines and receive inferior service over the misconception that Home Depot is Cheaper. I applaud the board of directors at Home Depot for figuring out how to take consumer dollars by being worse than their competitors.
    It’s not the government, the city, or the corporation’s fault that this happened. It is the heard mentally of the local population and a complete lack of common sense that caused this. Appeal to the dimwitted, and you shall succeed.

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