Lowe’s Cornwall to close

The Lowe's home improvement store at 950 Brookdale Avenue on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Employees were given notice that they won't have a job in the new year as the store is closing. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Workers at Lowe’s have been dealt a pre-Christmas blow with word they won’t have a job in the new year.

A source familiar with the situation told Cornwall Newswatch “they pushed all the customers out and closed the doors” of the Brookdale Avenue location at 6 p.m., to give employees the bad news.

The planned closure date is Jan. 31, 2020, the source said.

A sign on the doors at 7 p.m. Tuesday said the location was “closed for the day. This store will reopen tomorrow morning at our regular hours.” Lowe’s normal weekday hours are 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

A sign on the sliding door at the Lowe’s home improvement store at 950 Brookdale Avenue on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Customers arriving around 7 p.m. were bewildered the store that’s usually open until 10 p.m. was closed. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Customers were still coming up to the doors shortly after 7 p.m., bewildered that they couldn’t do their shopping.

The company confirmed Wednesday that the store was among 34 locations across Canada that were underperforming. The Cornwall closure will affect 102 positions, though employees will get a chance to apply for positions at other locations.

The other location in Eastern Ontario is the RONA in Brockville on Stewart Boulevard where 14 positions are affected.

Around this time last year, the home improvement retailer closed 31 Canadian stores and 20 in the United States because they were seen as under-performing. During that round of closures, nine stores in Ontario were affected.

Lowe’s opened the Cornwall location at 950 Brookdale Avenue in 2016.

When it opened, company officials estimated the store, which cost $16 million to build, would have 120-140 jobs and 30-40 seasonal positions.