David Lilkas, Lowe’s Ticonderoga store manager, welcomed local dignitaries and visitors to the store during a grand opening ceremony in 2009.
Lowe’s has closed its Ticonderoga store.
The national home improvement chain made no public announcement, but failed to open for business Monday, Aug. 15. Calls to the store were answered with an automated message, “Sorry, this location is permanently closed.”
All of the store’s 86 employees have been terminated. They will receive pay and benefits for 90 days and be eligible to apply for positions at other Lowe’s stores, according to Stacy Lentz, a Lowe’s spokeswoman.
“The Ticonderoga store was one of seven that closed last night,” Lentz said Monday morning. “It failed to reach sales estimates from the outset. Despite the hard work of the employees there didn’t seem to be any scenario that would lead to profitability in that location.”
A few workers will be at the site the next week to remove inventory, then the building will be empty, Lentz said.
Ticonderoga Supervisor Deb Malaney said she heard of the closing the night before, although she never received formal notice from Lowe’s.
“I had no heads up whatsoever,” Malaney said. “It’s really a setback for us.”
The Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce is mobilizing to assist the former Lowe’s employees.
“Lowe’s Companies Inc. made the hard and unfortunate decision to close the Ticonderoga store,” said matthew Courtright, chamber executive director. “This closure was not expected and was a surprise to everyone. We have met with and spoke with the management of Lowe’s. They shared with us that despite the hard work and great customer service of their associates they did make the decision to close the store and do not foresee the business turning in the future.”
Courtright as the Ti chamber is working with The North Country Work Force/One Work Source as well as the state Department of Labor to offer immediate employment services to displaced employees.
“We are working with them to host services and assistance with employment services, unemployment questions, job listings, assisting them with resumes and job placement assistance to the best of our ability,” Courtright said.
TACC will host an employee services program by the North Country Workforce/One Work Source Career Center Monday, Aug. 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the chamber office, 94 Montcalm St. One Work Source staff will be available to answer questions and provide assistance.
“The chamber will work directly with Lowe’s so that all associates are informed of the dates/times and details of the employment assistance workshops,” Courtright said. “We are also working with the One Work Source/Department of Labor out of Plattsburgh to host a rapid response orientation for all of the Lowe’s employees at the Community Building in Ticonderoga for additional assistance. The details of this are being worked out.
“Our heart goes out to all of the employees and their families as well as the community,” Courtright said. “The chamber will do all they can and work with them, the town and other organizations to be proactive and offer as much assistance as possible.”
Lowe’s opened in Ticonderoga Feb. 27, 2009.
The $12 million store was located at 1092 Wicker St. It had 102,000 square feet of space and stocked 32,000 items.
“They had hurdles all the way,” Malaney said of Lowe’s. “They had issues with the APA (Adirondack Park Agency) and then the bride closed right after they opened.”
APA hearings on the store and the size of its sign delayed construction.
The Lake Champlain Bridge was closed in October 2009 when state transportation officials, without warning, declared it unsafe. The bridge served about 3,000 vehicles a day, meaning people who used the bridge daily to reach their jobs, health care facilities, grocery stores and other necessities were forced to take detours lasting up to four hours. That closure limited business with Vermont customers.
Lentz said Lowe’s leased its store building in Ticonderoga. According to the town and county assessment roll, the building is owned by Cole LO Ticonderoga LLC, based in North Wilkesboro, N.C. It was constructed by Ticonderoga Property Development LLC, which sold it to Cole LO. The building is assessed at $8.2 million.
“We will work with the building’s owner to find a new tenant,” Lentz said.
Cole had the property advertised on the internet Monday afternoon. The ads reads, “The newly-developed property is a big box retail building located just south of Highway 74 on Wicker Street. Ticonderoga is a resort town located in the Adirondacks at the northern tip of Lake George with over 137,000 year-round residents and an additional 200,000 seasonal residents.”
Lowe’s fiscal second-quarter earnings edged down 0.2 percent .
“Despite some recovery in our seasonal business, our performance for the quarter fell short of our expectations,” said Chief Executive Robert A. Niblock.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a Fortune 50 company that serves approximately 14 million customers a week at more than 1,650 home improvement stores in the United States and Canada.
Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information visit Lowes.com.