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96 Employees Out of Work in Oswego Lowe's Closing

Another 86 let go at Aurora location.

Updated: 10:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17

Lowe's corporate officials Monday morning confirmed the closing of the Oswego and Aurora locations.

In all, 96 employees in Oswego and 86 in Aurora have lost their jobs in the closings, which is affecting 18 other locations throughout the country, according to company spokeswoman Karen Cobb.

"Most of the stores we are closing were not profitable," Cobb said. "These difficult decisions had to be made."

The closing of the Oswego store, at 2400 Route 34, will mean a loss of about $150,000 annually to the village's sales tax revenue, said Mark Horton, Oswego's director of finance.

Oswego Village President Brian LeClercq said village staff were in contact with the corporation Monday morning to get more information about the future of the space. He said the village was not notified of the closing. 

"This is frustrating on the economic development end," LeClercq said. "Now we will work twice as hard at bringing in new business. We need to look beyond retail. You just can't bank on any one area anymore."

The store, which opened in 2007, closed its doors for good Sunday night and workers removed the sign from the store's front late into the night.

The Aurora location, at 2372 W. Indian Trail, also closed for good Sunday night. Some locations are being held open for up to 30 days while inventory is sold off, Cobb said.

Customers with existing orders through the store will be contacted by Lowe's representatives to ensure those orders are filled, Cobb said. Oswego customers will be served by the Naperville location on Route 59, and Aurora customers will be served by the St. Charles location on Randall Road.

Cobb said employees will receive benefits and pay for 60 days and are being offered opportunities for transfers to other locations and assistance with applying for unemployment benefits.  

Stores in Elgin and Schaumburg were closed in August.

Though the Route 34 location is in Oswego, it served the village of Montgomery as well. Charlene Coulombe-Fiore, head of the Montgomery Economic Development Corporation, expressed surprise at the closing, but said it creates an opportunity for another big box retailer to come in.

Michael Pelletier October 17, 2011 at 06:39 PM
That is why I stated above for everyone to send your comments to all who will listen. If you have a problem with a store, then write to everyone in upper management about you experience and any suggestions you might have. But also, take the time to write about the postive experiences also. If you call McDonalds Corporate with a problem you had, they always have someone call you back and they send someone out to that store. If we want to keep our local business, then they need to hear us.
Jennifer October 17, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Michael, please provide us all with an email address to the "upper management."
Jennifer October 17, 2011 at 06:46 PM
Mr. McDougall, that was part of my statement above, with Lowes being more costly than their competitors. But we all have a story about not being service. I recently went into Menards to get different screws for my husband and the first person I see, I ask if he can help me and his statement was 'i'm going on break. someone else around here can help you.' Now we wonder why customer service is gone! Nothing peeves me more. You can't teach customer service! You either have it or you don't. You can't pretend to care, if you don't.
Michael Pelletier October 17, 2011 at 06:54 PM
robert.a.niblock@lowes.com It doesn't get any higher than this. You can usually call a store and ask for the names of the district and regional managers. The should also give you the phone number or email address. here is some more info. Lowe's Customer Care P.O. Box 1111 North Wilkesboro, NC 28656 1-800-445-6937 customercare@lowes.com All emails are usually first name.middle initial.last name@lowes.com
Richard Saunders October 17, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Mr. McDougall, you do realize that's all of 1.7 miles door to door?
Michael Pelletier October 17, 2011 at 07:05 PM
You get what you pay for most of the time. When I was at Lowe's, no one would get by me without a smile from me and a "can I help you find something today"? Not even other empoyees would get by me without a smile and a good morning or afternoon. I would never tell a customer I could not help them, if I was busy, I would find someone else to help them. But when everyone is paying 8 to 10 dollars an hour and what incentive does a new young employee have to care? If Menards, Home Depot, and Lowe's all ran an ad for the same position, but Lowe's was paying 5.00 an hour more, where do you think all the quality people would be headed? I made more in 1985 than I made last year. When you pay more, not only do you get the best new, but the best of the competition will come over too.
Brandie Holmes October 17, 2011 at 07:11 PM
This might be off topic from the Lowes conversation but it relates to customer service at Dicks Sporting Goods. If you receive Dicks cash coupons and they have expired Oswego will honor them. My Grand-kids are in many sports and this has saved my sons a lot of money. Thank you Dicks for listening to your customers. Mr. Pelletier I hope that you have another job. Your comments on here show your desire to be the best at what you do. Good Luck Sir.
Michael Pelletier October 17, 2011 at 07:20 PM
The sadest thing is I really loved my job and what I do. The potential of that store or any business is unlimited. But if you don't listen to your employees and customers you will never suceed. Its all about customer service, making the customer happy and keeping them that way. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes, but when you do, this is another chance to make a customer happy. And isn't it a lot more fun when everyone is HAPPY!!!!? Again, take the time to tell a store manager both good and bad. Trust me, you will make someone's day a whole lot brighter when you tell them something good.
Beth Krane October 17, 2011 at 07:50 PM
@ Michael - Well stated. I'm sorry that you are a victim of our current society. It seems that more and more customer service is about the person serving the customers and less about the customers whom are suppose to be served. When I find someone that is not tending to me, I'll complain, but I will take the time to praise (to management) those that break the current stereotypical mold and provide service from the Leave it to Beaver generation. Companies who listen to employees and customers are also a rare commodity. These companies tend to be the smaller, Mom and Pop type stores, but the ones that do listen, even if the price is slightly higher, tend to get my repeat business. So anyone from you box companies reading this ... get a clue. The complaints are not new. Take care of your customers and you'll get more business. Even more, your a large box company. Your prices shouldn't be outrageous as you get bulk discounts from your suppliers, and have more ability to make money company wide. Take care of your customers, your employees, and magic will happen in the accounting department. Michael, I pray for you and your family. You sound like such a decent and nice guy. Things will improve for you. That is my prayer.
jerri powell October 17, 2011 at 09:48 PM
Hello, I am so sorry to all those employees. Service Service service....be appreciative to those spending. the young people need to have the real world fully divulged. I have a public question....back in the spring we all discussed ways to dispute our tax assessments and now we are in that 30 day window. i am buying the listing tonight after class to compare neighbors. can someone explain the process options again. I can proceed on my own common sense. Our taxing bodies was pointed out the fact that our homes worth less and they simply raised our tax rates to the maximum they could.....do remember to vote and listen to other candidates that may cut spending cause the taxpayers can not handle their requests anymore. Good Day to all of Lowes employees i am sorry jerri powell
Michael McDougall October 17, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Richard- I am not talking about the Lowe's in Oswego. The one on Orchard is a heck of a lot further than 1.7 miles. As far as getting what you pay for. Exactly. The prices are cheaper but the manufacturer's are the same.
Jane Enviere October 18, 2011 at 12:36 AM
Terrible for the employees. : ( I shopped there for paint (in fact I needed to hit that place up this week for a project), but that was it. Their prices were so high in comparison to HD, Menards or Walmart (for smaller items, spray paint, etc.). Of course, it's always been like that -- Lowes then HD then Menards. I did pop in ther quite a bit because we have done so much painting over the past few years and our experience was that they were always much friendlier and more helpful than what I have encountered at HD. Guess I'll hike it over to 59 this week and get my next batch of Olympic there!
Stan Bond October 18, 2011 at 01:08 AM
You are so right Jerri. Your Township assessor is the place to start on lowering or confirming your assessment. I'd suggest a phone call to them right away to ask about timing and process. In some cases a phone call might even be enough to get the ball rolling.
Jane Enviere October 18, 2011 at 01:16 AM
I was looking at mine today. The 8% that they lowered it is laughable. Even figuring in that it is somewhat of a blend over the years, they are still waaaay off. I WISH my value had only dropped 8%!
Pat Gavros October 18, 2011 at 01:20 AM
I've been reading all of the comments and feel so bad for all of those out of work....for awhile and the newbies! Here's a thought....and I've been really thinking about this for a long time. We need to remember the "power of one". What does that mean? As I've shopped over the past year, I've made it a point at looking at exactly where the product is made. If it says "distributed by....." then I'm pretty sure it's not made in the USA. If I don't absolutely need it, then I refuse to buy it. Yes, we get some tax revenue, and some low paying sales clerks jobs, and some transportation jobs, BUT why aren't the goods manufactured in America??? I'm sick of it and I will, and do, pay a little more for products made in America. Now what we need to do is create an AMP (AMERICAN MADE PRODUCT) program. Let's get some little business cards together...yes I'll do it, and every time we go to the store, hand those to the cashiers to put into the register. It will say: While shopping at your store today, I DIDN'T buy the following items because they WEREN'T made in the USA! List the items you wanted to buy. Another thing we can do is ask to speak to the manager and tell them we want some individual aisles that are for American made products only. We have a right. America is being discriminated against, but remember....as a consumer you have tremendous power. Use it! Bring back jobs (good paying jobs) to America. Don't wait for Washington to do it!
Scott Henderson October 18, 2011 at 03:11 AM
@Jane - 8%? Mine only dropped by 6%. What do they do, put property discounts into a hat and draw the percentage that they want to lower it by? In the end, it probably won't even matter since they will just raise the EAV.
Jane Enviere October 18, 2011 at 04:21 AM
@RSH: The fair market value is probably only off by $70K. <insert sarcastic eye roll here> lol Sadly though, I am not joking. The whole process is, well, I'm afraid Patch would censor even the 2 letters I have in mind. ; ) I'm not going to bother attempting to appeal it because I don't think they will get real. They probably feel they were very generous as it is. And they will absolutely just raise the rate -- they are going to get their money one way or the other.
Brandie Holmes October 18, 2011 at 11:18 AM
5% is the rate I received. I learned the game long ago and had my home appraised for tax purposes for the last 4 years. Once again there's a $70,000 difference. Even though they will raise the rate it will now be done on the correct value of my home. As stated here most people will do nothing about it.
jerri powell October 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM
Hello, I am so sorry for all those employees. Especially those that were really committed to the success of Lowes for this community. i wrote a very brief letter to editor to discuss the property taxes since I feel that is a distraction to this situation for these folks. I hope you all can continue that topic there so the process can be disclosed. I just sent it in last night so we need to give Steve a chance to post it for discussion. I am so sorry for another hit..... Jerri Powell
julie owens October 18, 2011 at 12:10 PM
i feel for the people who bought stuff and now cant return it. also i feel for the employees, on the good side they will get 60 days pay and benifits then can get unemployment. at least they will get the 60 days pay and that will take them through the holidays. Cobb said employees will receive benefits and pay for 60 days and are being offered opportunities for transfers to other locations and assistance with applying for unemployment benefits.
Brandie Holmes October 18, 2011 at 12:39 PM
Ms.Owens, The opportunity to transfer will become harder as more and more employees seek out those jobs. My heart just broke when I watched the news last night and saw former employees speak about the closings. To answer the question about returns, you can go to another store and they will honor returns under their normal return policies. Ms.Powell, I look forward to any new articles on the property tax situation. I will leave any further comments I might have to that new discussion. Thank you for your input, I'm new to this and find it to be very informative.
Julie October 18, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Just got off the phone with the assessor and guess I will be contesting my value. Mine only dropped 3% from last year. We had an appraisal done for a refi about 9 months ago and it was 16% lower than my assessment. According the the assessor they don't use foreclosures as comparisons, so that might be the difference. He told me not to worry, the values will go down again next year. According the the assessed value my house has only dropped 7% since we bought it 6 years ago, I don't think so! If I could sell my house for what it was assessed for I would have sold it yesterday and would be living in my dream home.
Kbell October 18, 2011 at 06:34 PM
I agree 3 Home Improvement stores in that close of proximity not a great idea. I'm also worried about Dominik's and I am very surprised they are still open. They had some good sales over the week-end but you really have to shop just the sales. I enjoy not having huge crowds to work thru on my shopping trips but the prices are so high. I try to go to Aldi's first and then I shop at like 3-4 other stores to try and get the best prices for everything. I don't really like Meijer's and the prices have gotten higher and the place is way too busy. Walmart has gotten better and Target's good for H&B products and some other food items. I feel bad for those out of work now.
Kelly October 18, 2011 at 07:46 PM
No one would shop at these big box stores if they knew how they treat their vendors. Small vendors have no chance of getting their products into these stores if they aren't interested in being robbed blind. I'd rather see a local hardware store benefit from this, but I am sad for the employees. After beigng out of work for some time myself, I know how it is to be laid off right before the holidays. And yes, October is before the holidays because few people are hiring during this time of year so you can bet it will take a while to find a job. Sad.
Kelly October 18, 2011 at 07:58 PM
@Pat - Just a quick comment on your "distributed by" note. Please don't assume that these items aren't made in the USA and you are punishing the store for it. Depending on the product, it could very well be made in the USA. If you go to Aldi, for example, many of their products say, "distributed by." Why? Because another company like one my husband works for right here in Illinois will make the product for Aldi, with Aldi's name on it. Aldi then distributes it as their own. There are plenty of American companies who make private labes items sold with "distributed by" attached to them. Just a quick thought.
jerri powell October 18, 2011 at 08:57 PM
Hello, In order to appreciate the employees experience at the loss of lowes....My letter on assessments is active and I have began with the steps I have found. Good Day to all of our challenges....It is a time to activate yourselves.... Jerri Powell
Pat Stiles October 18, 2011 at 09:05 PM
Maybe it's time to open your eyes and come to the conclusion. More and more of this is bound to happen in Oswego.People can't afford to do the things they did years ago in this area. The thickest part of the local paper is the forclosure notices. Taxes are thru the ceiling. The village has unionized tax payer funded pensioned employees, and pay wages like the big cities. Look at the biggest buildings in Oswego. The Village Hall,.New Fire Station. all paid for with tax dollars.Who do you think is going to come up with the short falls (The Taxpayer) I am not anti union but you don't have the taxbase to fund these wages and pensions folks. Champange taste on a beer income never works.
Paul Sulwer October 21, 2011 at 04:38 PM
I too am sorry to hear of Lowe's closing in Montgomery. I've always found the Rt 59/Naperville area to be a sort of overcrowded cesspool (not so much Lowe's, but other stores like Wal Mart and Sam's club). When I recently started shopping in Montgomery/Oswego, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the crowds were much fewer. I used to shop Home Depot pretty exclusively until I happened to go into a Lowes, where I discovered that prices on the plumbing supplies I needed at the time were consistently lower than the Depot (or Menards). Fewer crowds, a cleaner store, and nicer employees made me an instant convert. One of the employees in Montgomery (I think she was a customer service supervisor/manager) even remembered me from a previous visit, which I thought was a nice touch. My guess is that the area was supposed to be under heavy (housing) development, so these new and big stores were built in preparation for that. Since housing didn't work out, these stores ended up with fewer customers than anticipated.
jerri powell October 21, 2011 at 10:38 PM
Hello pat, I have researched permits in Oswego also. I had a very good conversation with Brian. The sign of the times for Lowes was construction and building adjustments. I need to replace 2 window openings because of a repair situation. The village wants 50.00 for repair. My thoughts to Brian was 1. why do it, never see value back in house price. 2. Does the village want to hinder upkeep? 3. Do without permit? 4. Sell as is.... There are folks that will not work in Oswego due to permit process. there are those also that want to comply and get permits before work. so what does one do.....more than a simple roll of dice.... the permit prices are a tier method also. So what do you say...... good Day, Jerri
Tonto October 23, 2011 at 12:13 AM
donate - www.buildtheborderfence.com

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