Orchard Supply Hardware stores in Orlando will close by February

click to enlarge Orchard Supply Hardware stores in Orlando will close by February
Screen grab via Facebook.com/OrchardSupplyHardware
It's a sad day for some Central Florida home-tinkerers.

Announced this morning, Lowe's Companies, which acquired the Orchard Supply Hardware chain in 2013, has decided to close up shop for all 99 of its Orchard Supply stores. That means one in-the-works location and two current locations are soon to shutter locally, including the brand-new Orlando Avenue in Winter Park and the Turkey Lake Road locations, as well as the under-construction store at Orlando Fashion Square mall.

"While it was a necessary business decision to exit Orchard Supply Hardware, decisions that impact our people are never easy," Lowe's president and CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement to USA Today. "We will be providing outplacement services for impacted associates, and they will be given priority status if they choose to apply for other Lowe's positions."

The company said it landed on the decision Aug. 17 "in order to focus on its core home improvement business," according to the company's second-quarter sales and earnings results news release.

Per the USA Today report, Orchard Supply's roughly 4,000 employees were informed of the company's decision Tuesday. All stores will reportedly be open for normal hours Wednesday, but Orchard Supply stores will begin to close Thursday. The company plans to close all stores, including a distribution center in Tracy, California, by the end of the fiscal year.

News of the company's asset offloading caused the company's shares to drop nearly 3 percent to $97.03 in premarket trading on Wednesday, according to a report in Fortune magazine.

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