Lowe's

(CNN) -- In another sign of the times for retail, Lowe's is closing 51 North American stores.

The home improvement chain said Monday that locations are underperforming and the decision will help the hardware chain focus on its most profitable stores and "improve the overall health of its store portfolio."

Lowe's (LOW) is shutting down 20 stores in the US and 31 in Canada. The company said that a "majority" of the shuttered stores are within 10 miles of another Lowe's location.

The stores will be closed before Feb. 1, 2019. The company will try to find jobs at nearby stores for its employees affected by the closings.

"We believe our people are the foundation of our business and essential to our future growth," said CEO Marvin R. Ellison.

Lowe's is struggling to keep up with its larger rival Home Depot. Ellison, who joined the company in May, has already made some big strategic decisions, including closing all of its Orchard Supply Hardware stores and slashing inventory at its Lowe's stores.

The company cut its sales and profit outlook for the year. Its next earnings report is on November 20.

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