MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Lowe's will be closing 20 stores nationwide, including one in Chalmette, according to the home improvement giant's web site.

The answering machine at the Chalmette Lowe's indicated the store was permanently closed when WWL-TV called Monday morning.

The news release from the company cited the stores as 'underperforming.'

Ten of the stores are expected to close by this weekend, while the other ten will close within a month. The news release did not say if the Chalmette location would be among the first to close.

'Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on hard-working employees and local communities,' said Robert A. Niblock, chairman, president and CEO. 'However, we have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position.

The company announced it has discontinued a number of planned new store projects. Lowe's now expects to open 10 to 15 stores per year in North America from 2012 forward, compared to a prior assumption of approximately 30 stores per year. The company is on track to open approximately 25 stores in 2011, as planned.

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