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The Associated Press August 29, 2011, 4:12PM ET

Lowe's to restructure store operations

Lowe's Cos., the nation's second-largest home improvement retailer, said Monday that it is restructuring its store operations and merchandising.

Lowe's said the reorganization will make it more efficient, get products and services to market faster and improve customers' shopping experience. The changes include the departure of three senior vice presidents.

The company's U.S. stores will operate under three geographic divisions, each led by a senior vice president of operations who will report to the company's executive vice president of store operations.

In addition, Lowe's said its merchandising will be done in two product divisions, each led by a senior vice president and general merchandising manager.

The three executives who have left are Theresa Anderson and Robert Wagner, senior vice presidents of operations, and Patricia Price, senior vice president and general marketing manager for home decor, Lowe's said.

As announced last month, Eric Sowder, senior vice president and general marketing manager for outdoor living, will retire on Sept. 9, the company said.

In January, the company laid off about 1,700 middle managers nationwide and planned to hire thousands of new hourly, part-time sales staff to work weekends. Spokeswoman Chris Ahearn said the company redefined hundreds of middle-management jobs and cut those between assistant store manager and store manager.

The company said Monday that its new structure reflects its direction to better serve customers when and how they want to shop.

Lowe's shares rose 25 cents Monday to close at $20.49.

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