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LOWE'S ANNOUNCES RESTRUCTURING CHARGE

 (Repeating earlier transmission to correct date in dateline)
 LOWE'S ANNOUNCES RESTRUCTURING CHARGE
 NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Lowe's Companies,Inc. (NYSE: LOW) announced that its fiscal 1991 results will reflect a major store restructuring pre-tax charge of $71.3 million approved by its Board of Directors today. The charge will be reflected in the Company's fourth fiscal quarter, ended January 31, 1992, and in fiscal 1991 financial results expected to be announced the week of February 24, 1992. Chairman of the Board Robert L. Strickland said the charge reflects the expected costs and expenses required to accelerate Lowe's conversion over the next four years from a chain of small stores to a chain of large stores.
 This program specifies 123 small stores that are to be relocated into the company's new, large prototype format, with 9 of this total being relocated in this fourth quarter. Also, 25 locations are identified as being subject to future consolidation and/or closing, including markets where one large prototype store will replace two small ones. 4 locations were closed in the fourth quarter.
 The restructuring charge is composed primarily of write-downs of long-lived assets to their net realizable value, principally real estate for owned locations, certain leasehold improvements, fixtures and equipment. It also includes relocation costs and expenses.
 Lowe's began its big store expansion program in earnest in 1989. The stores built in that year, which have been open during all of fiscal 1990 and 1991, have posted average sales dollars per store more than 20 percent higher than chain average; and average operating profit dollars per store have exceeded chain average by more than 40 percent. These big stores have also ranked higher than chain average in retail sales as a percent to total, gross margin percent, and operating profit percent to sales. These stores are demonstrating success based on authoritative customer appeal, and they underscore this strategy to step up the pace of converting the old small stores into new destination home centers.
 We now expect our 1992 store expansion to encompass about 35 stores, and a square footage addition of about 2.0 million square feet, up from the previously announced 1.75 million.
 Strickland concluded that the purpose of this restructuring charge action is to "clear the decks", to facilitate ongoing improvement of operating earnings, and to remove from future earnings reports the dilution of relocation costs and disposition of obsolete store properties.
 Lowe's is a specialty retailer serving the home center do-it- yourself business, the consumer durables business, and the building contractor business. Lowe's operates 306 stores in 20 states.
 -0- 1/31/92
 /CONTACT: W. Cliff Oxford 919-651-4631, or Clarissa S. Felts, 919-651-4254, both of Lowe's Companies, Inc./
 (LOW) CO: Lowe's Companies, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: REA SU:


JZ -- CH002 -- 5627 01/31/92 12:43 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 31, 1992
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