Lowes Foods to close 2 Charlotte-area stores

Lowes Foods said Tuesday that it plans to close two Charlotte-area stores, as the supermarket chain continues shifting its store portfolio away from Charlotte.

The stores are on Marion Street in Shelby and Cox Road in Gastonia. Lowes said in a statement that both stores are underperforming.

The company is also closing two supermarkets in Cary and West Jefferson.

“We regret that this decision will impact our store teams, their families and our valued guests at these locations,” said Lowes Foods’ spokeswoman Donna Ashley in a statement.

If possible, the employees losing their jobs will be transferred to other locations. In cases where it’s not possible, they’ll be offered financial assistance, George said. The locations are slated to close by Sept. 19.

Growth strategy

Ashley said the move is “part of a broader growth strategy for investing in new stores and major store remodels” at Lowes Foods.

In 2012, Lowes Foods sharply reduced its presence in and around Charlotte by swapping stores with Harris Teeter. The company sold 10 stores to Harris Teeter, in exchange for six Harris Teeter locations in smaller markets such as Asheville and Gastonia and $26.5 million.

The Cox Road store in Gastonia was one of the Harris Teeter locations that switched to Lowes Foods.

Winston-Salem-based Lowes Foods is a subsidiary of Alex Lee Inc., which also operates a wholesale grocery distributor.

The company operates about 100 supermarkets in the Carolinas and Virginia.