0

Riverdale Lowe’s abruptly closes down

Leaves 98 workers without jobs

Alma Garrette recently drove up to the parking lot of Lowe’s in Riverdale.

It seemed like a normal shopping day for Garrette, as she got out of her car and prepared to walk inside the home-improvement retailer.

The dedicated customer said she gasped when she discovered the store had suddenly closed.

“Oh my goodness, I am shocked,” exclaimed the 14-year Riverdale resident. “I was [just] here the other day. I didn’t know they were closing.”

Although the store has shut down operations, employees were inside the facility on Tuesday.

A security guard advised a reporter that the manager declined to comment on the matter, and would not allow his employees to come out and speak to the media.

Stacey Lentz, a spokeswoman for Lowe’s Companies Inc., said the retailer closed its Riverdale location on the evening of Aug. 14, and made the announcement to its 98 employees at that time.

Lowe’s did not advise employees beforehand, because they will receive 60 days of pay and benefits, she said. The pay will be the same amount they had been receiving while working there, she added.

Lentz said during the 60-day period, employees will be able to apply for open positions at other Lowe’s locations. She said sales at the Riverdale location were below projections, and had not improved.

She said the Riverdale location is one of seven Lowe’s stores nationwide that closed on Aug. 14, because of low sales. The other stores were located in Connecticut, New York, Alaska, Minnesota, and Illinois, she said.

Lentz added that she could not give anymore specifics about Lowe’s in Riverdale, or in the metro Atlanta market.

“Unfortunately, despite the hard work of the store’s employees and their commitment to outstanding customer service, we do not foresee a scenario that leads to profitability for this store,” said Lentz.

She said the nearest Lowe’s store to Riverdale is located in Fayetteville, at 1030 Glynn St., North.

The Fayetteville location will take care of any special orders made by customers at the Riverdale store, she explained. Commercial customers, who shopped at Lowe’s in Riverdale, will be assisted in the Fayetteville store as well, she continued.

Customer Garrette said she enjoyed shopping at the Riverdale Lowe’s for five years, since it opened.

For her, Lowe’s had better customer service and more merchandise than its competitor, Home Depot, which is about a one-minute drive from the closed-down Lowe’s.

She said she won’t be shopping at the Fayetteville store, because it’s too far away.

“This is an eyesore,” said Garrette of the Riverdale Lowe’s. “Another empty building. Oh my gosh!”