Lowe's Canada retail network hurt by COVID-19 pandemic during first quarter
Lowe's Canadian operations, which include the Rona and Reno-Dept banners, continued to underperform those of the American network during the first quarter, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt.
Chief executive Marvin Ellison told analysts Wednesday that Canadian same-store sales -- a key retail metric -- were negative during the three-month period ended May 1. The extent of the decline wasn't quantified.
Meanwhile, in the United States sales for stores open at least a year jumped 12.3 per cent due to strong demand for cleaning products, appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, and home improvement materials.
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Ellison attributed the Canadian network's performance to store closings and reduced hours ordered by governments to curb the spread of COVID-19.
After recording US$230 million in restructuring charges in fiscal 2019 as part of its efforts to turn around Lowe's Canada, the North Carolina-based company recorded a pre-tax amount of US$9 million in the most recent quarter linked in particular to severance pay.
Overall, the U.S. retailer's net profit increased 27.6 per cent to US$1.34 billion from a year ago. Sales climbed 11.3 per cent to US$19.7 billion.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 20, 2020.