Lowe's Q3 profit up 17.4 pct
Some analysts claim the closing of more than 20 Lowe's home improvement chain stores is a positive development. Reuters

Struggling home improvement retailer Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) will lay off 1,700 managers in stores around the country, reported the Associated Press.

In addition, it plans to add about 8,000 to 10,000 hourly sales workers for the weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays). Applications for these positions will open next week.

We are streamlining our store management team -- creating assistant manager positions (4-6 per store) and placing members of the existing management team in those positions, spokeswoman Julie Yenichek told Reuters.

We are restructuring our operation model to put more employees in stores during the peak [shopping] time, said spokeswoman Chris Ahearn, according to CNN.

We believe this new structure and the addition of employees on the weekend when many of our stores are the busiest, will help us better provide...service our customers, spokeswoman Karen Cobb told IBTimes.

Lowe's shares jumped 2.54 percent in morning trading.

The company has struggled in recent years in the aftermath of the housing bust. It has also struggled to compete with rival Home Depot (NYSE:HD), the largest home improvement retailer.

Going back to February 2007, Lowe's shares have declined nearly 20 percent, versus the 5 percent decline of Home Depot and the 9 percent decline of the S&P 500 Index.

Lowe's annual net income was $2.8 billion in 2008, $2.2 billion in 2009, and $1.8 billion in 2010. According to the company's latest quarterly earnings, it has over 238,000 employees.