Thursday, January 27, 2011

Obama economy hits a top company with stores throughout the Ozarks

There's a Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse in lots of Ozarks towns nowadays, so the news that the company has laid off 1,700 middle managers is an Ozarks story, even though the company is headquartered in North Carolina.

Here are some excerpts from the Charlotte Observer's story, titled Lowe's layoffs cuts back on middle managers:

Home improvement giant Lowe's is laying off 1,700 middle managers across the country, another sign the economic recovery remains precarious.
The company also will hire 8,000 to 10,000 part-time, weekend sales workers, which Lowe's said is intended to boost customer service at peak sales times.
Like the rest of the economy, Mooresville-based Lowe's has suffered through the housing downturn. The company says consumers are still hesitant to invest in their homes, buy major appliances or do big remodeling projects.
Though the layoffs are bad news for Main Street, investors on Wall Street viewed them as a step toward efficiency. Shares were up about 1.1 percent on Wednesday, to $25.85.

I'm afraid more companies are going to be forced to take drastic measures like this, as the Obama economy continues to languish. Nothing he said in the State of the Union address comforts me.

Fortunately, Lowe's is a great company that cares about its people, so it cut managers instead of poor associates (like me) to lay off. It's sad that anyone loses their job, but at least Lowe's didn't lay off a bunch of non-managers, like other companies have done.

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