Lowe's closing catches Schaumburg by surprise

  • The reflection of security officer Terry Green and the store closing sign were that was left on the facade of the Lowe's in Schaumburg on Monday, one day after employees learned the store was one of seven being closed nationwide by the home improvement chain.

    The reflection of security officer Terry Green and the store closing sign were that was left on the facade of the Lowe's in Schaumburg on Monday, one day after employees learned the store was one of seven being closed nationwide by the home improvement chain. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Would-be shoppers were surprised Monday to find that the Lowe's store in Schaumburg abruptly closed its doors over the weekend.

    Would-be shoppers were surprised Monday to find that the Lowe's store in Schaumburg abruptly closed its doors over the weekend. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Former Lowe's employee Candice Kilgore, who worked at the Schaumburg store for three months, received a call over the weekend informing her she would be losing her job and the store would be closing. The store had employed 110 workers.

    Former Lowe's employee Candice Kilgore, who worked at the Schaumburg store for three months, received a call over the weekend informing her she would be losing her job and the store would be closing. The store had employed 110 workers. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
By Zuzanna Skwiot
Updated 8/16/2011 9:16 AM

A day after the abrupt closing of the Lowe's home improvement store in the Prairie Towne Shopping Center, Schaumburg officials are working to fill the new 116,000-square-foot vacancy.

"We were taken by surprise when we heard the news," said Matt Frank, the village's economic development coordinator. "I've already reached out to Lowe's and then other businesses to find a sub-leaser."

 

Lowe's, along with Kohl's, anchors the shopping center on the northeast corner of Barrington and Schaumburg roads. The store opened in January 2006 and holds a lease on the location until 2025.

The Schaumburg store, which had 110 employees, is one of seven locations Lowe's announced it was closing nationwide after reporting that its net earnings from the past quarter showed no improvement from the same period one year ago. The company also is shuttering a location in Elgin.

"The sales numbers missed estimates," said Abby Buford, a spokeswoman for Lowe's. "Sales were well below projections and they did not improve over time."

The store competed with two major home improvement stores nearby. Home Depot sits directly across the street, and a Menard's is farther south on Barrington Road.

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"We'll work hard to fill that space," said Frank. "But I'm sure Home Depot is happy."

Tonya Lamia, president of the Schaumburg Business Association, is optimistic that the village will find a replacement tenant.

"We have a strong and diverse mix of businesses in the village, and that is a very prime location," she said. "The rise and fall of one company will not affect the whole system."

Village officials heard of Lowe's departure Monday morning, while employees were notified after the stored closed following regular business hours Sunday night.

"It's a pretty cowardly way to leave this area," said George Dunham, Schaumburg's senior village trustee. "I thought more of Lowe's than to fold their tents and steal away in the middle of the night."