Lowe’s on Broadway Closes Suddenly

Lowe’s opened a new store on the corner of 68th Street and Broadway with much fanfare in 2015. On Sunday, it closed with much less notice, suddenly papering over the doors and taking down the letters above the marquee.

A sign on the door gave little explanation, saying only that “this location has closed” and directing people to Brooklyn or New Jersey.

Lowe’s had modeled the Upper West Side store to be much different from its suburban locations, with small departments mean to cater to the needs of a city-dweller. The store had appliances like 18-inch-wide dishwashers meant to address the needs of a space-starved New Yorker.

The question now is whether Target can succeed a few blocks away.

Thanks to Steven for the photos, and Catherine and Amy for the tips.

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 96 comments | permalink
    1. Steve says:

      Guess the coupon they gave me Sunday for my “next visit” wasn’t too valuable…

    2. RF says:

      The “city dweller” concept probably hurt them more than it helped. The narrow selection of products they offered were all things I could buy at neighborhood hardware stores like Aquarius and Basics Plus, which are more convenient for those of us in the 80s/90s anyway. For a true hardware store, I still had to make a trip down to Home Depot in Chelsea. And their plant department–an area where they probably could’ve done well in this neighborhood–was downright pitiful.

    3. Pqdub says:

      Sorry to see it closed. It always seemed busy. Can’t imagine it was for lack of business.

    4. Joyce Weidenaar says:

      Lowe’s inventory was too often lacking. They had little choice in some categories, none in others. I was routinely referred to Gartner’s by Lowe’s clerks who couldn’t furnish what I needed. Gartner’s, in its minuscule footprint, always somehow stocked what I needed and their staff is ever helpful. Lowe’s misread its market. Target isn’t likely to – I’m sure they’ll flourish here and can’t wait for them to come. Now how do we get a Paragon outlet or an Old Navy around here?

      • MC Barton says:

        Maybe the suburbs might be a good alternative for you. They have much more room for all that cookie-cutter stuff. Why live in the city if you can’t have small shops, real people, unique goods, or at least someone who will order them for you.
        Of course they misread the UWS; they are a national chain. Gracious Home was local to NYC.

    5. Meagan says:

      It always looked busy enough, this is a definite bummer. The plants were all cheaper than the local nurseries.

    6. Joan Nagy says:

      Lowe’s was just a complete waste of space. A failed experiment because they never understood the neighborhood. They never carried the variety of great cleaning products that Gracious Home did and they certainly didn’t hold a candle to GH’s kitchen supplies. Even GH’s light bulb selection was better. Couldn’t find what I was looking for probably 60% of the times I went in there.

    7. Dave Deegan says:

      Looks like Lowe’s made the announcement today about store closings, seems they closed the Chelsea location as well

      https://newsroom.lowes.com/inside-lowes/lowes-store-closures-2018/

    8. Juan says:

      Lowe’s today announced it was closing 51 stores so I guess this was one of them, and they decided to do it sooner rather than later.

      I know the “only shop local” crowd won’t miss Lowe’s. When possible, I continued to try to support local stores, but on the occasions where it was easier to go to Lowe’s I found it to be a helpful resource. It will be missed, and I have no idea who will fill that large space.

      A few years ago I took one of my kids to weekend events where they did free projects like building model cars, which were fun events and a great addition to the neighborhood.

    9. Sharon K. says:

      The problem with this Lowe’s store was the items it offered. It rarely had any of the products I needed that a better stocked store, like Home Depot or Gartner’s (our neighborhood hardware store), carries. It’s a wonder that it stayed open so long.

    10. Sid says:

      Interesting, they used to have a store on 6th ave and 23rd and that also seems to have closed.

    11. Elizabeth Crittenden says:

      The customer service was terrible. Never could find anyone to help you!

    12. Paul on West 67th says:

      I’m always sad to see an empty storefront but I can’t say I’ll miss Lowe’s. I guess some people have room in their apartment for an 18-pack of paper towels but I sure don’t. The two keys I had made there never worked, even after numerous attempts. I miss Amsterdam Hardware, but that’s another story.

      Anyway, let’s hope a supermarket opens in the old Lowe’s / Food Emporium space.

    13. Sean says:

      Loew’s has closed 20 underperforming stores in the US. The company is restructuring. Its’ sales lag behind Home Depot. Target has a completely different product line and will do just fine as it has with its’ other locations here. Maybe Dean and DeLuca will rent the now vacant spot.

    14. Put a good grocery store back

    15. Patricia Gilman says:

      Target is a much better choice for the UWS. We have lots of hardware stores etc. I’m for one am looking forward to Target. Although it’s going to be small.

    16. Elizabeth Crittenden says:

      They had terrible customer service. Difficulty finding people to help/answer questions.

    17. Mark says:

      I agree with Joyce. I think perhaps Lowe’s inventory stocking & management processes don’t translate well to a smaller location than they would typically have in a suburban area. The “inventory density” – how much stuff for sale in a given shelf area – looked similar to their suburban stores, so they just didn’t have much variety or stock. Home Depot does a better job in Manhattan, but unfortunately not in the UWS.

    18. chris says:

      Dozens of stores shuttered both in the US and Canada. I don’t think this had anything to do with the ‘neighborhood.’

    19. Sherman says:

      Before the usual cast of characters start ranting about “greedy landlords” I read this morning that Lowe’s is closing 51 underperforming stores throughout the US because they’re having trouble competing with Home Depot.

    20. Samantha Berman says:

      Maybe there is something in the works, like a food store

    21. notsurprised says:

      Sales must have been pretty dismal for them to terminate the lease early. There are heavy financial penalties for doing so. Just shows you that even these big chains aren’t invincible to the “greedy, evil landlords”. I guess the landlord will get their “tax deduction” for the vacant space after all!

      • Woody says:

        The landlord will also have the loss of a large chain store, no tenant, and no revenue for the type of large retail space that you knuckleheads claim landlords keep vacant in order to get a large chain store. The point of real estate is to have tenants not empty spaces.

        • Roze says:

          OK, “kucklehead” (the insulting word you used), to hear you tell it, if”The point of real estate is to have tenants not empty spaces” then it is quite interesting that there are so many VACANT stores that have been vacant for several months, some over a year or more. Look up and down Broadway, to start.

    22. wombatNYC says:

      Now… Can we bring in supermarket ? Perhaps a WESTSIDE MARKET

    23. ny10023 says:

      Before I saw the amount of stores that closed nationwide I was going to say something snarky about the fact even Lowe’s had to close due to high rents up here.

      Let’s hope we can get some kind of grocery store in there, or in the old Gracious Home vacant storefront, or in the old Ann Taylor vacant storefront, or in…..

    24. NYWoman says:

      Maybe lease came up – landlord never advertises this publicly as it spooks clients to see a ‘for lease’ sign on the door – obviously –

    25. Carnival Canticle says:

      With little understanding of the local market and its needs, the store was neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring. (And the rent at that glossy location must have been stupendous.) Perhaps we should consider its demise a (good) sign that the mallification of the Upper West Side is not necessarily inevitable.

    26. BAMstutz says:

      Damn! Lowes had the least expensive house plants and planters in town.

      • Robby Westside says:

        That’s what I’m saying. Everything else was hit or miss; I’d find better selection and MUCH service on hardware stuff for apartment projects at any of the local places (i.e. Beacon). But the plants… oh the plants.

    27. cjberk says:

      we knew Lowe’s wouldn’t make it with their odd mixture of merchandise, most of which were not useful to apartment dwellers. We couldn’t even find applicable light bulbs. How could they possibly think this was a good location to sell lawn mowers? We need a SUPERMARKET LIKE MORTON WILLIAMS or FOOD EMPORIUM or WEST SIDE MARKET which we also really need and miss. We all miss Gracious Home as well. The Container Store would be a great idea as would a PRICE WISE store (so wonderful). Forget the small Target stores; they are for tourists and in no way resemble a real Target. It will add nothing to our neighborhood except meaningless crowds. We were always hoping for a real C21 like the downtown store with housewares and home goods/linens etc. Also, our Bed Bath and Beyond bears no relationships to the real BBB on the UES. Somehow, for example take the Bloomingdales outlet, when a store opens on the UWS, it is filled with cheap junky merchandise unsaleable in the Village or UES. We have become a dumping ground for “schlock”. Marshalls even smells bad. So we’ll see what we get in the Lowe’s location! here’s hoping someone does their homework …demographics and all that…fingers crossed.

    28. Rodger Lodger says:

      No, the UWS is not the world. Lowes is closing 51 (fifty-one) stores. https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/05/business/lowes-closures/index.html

    29. Debbie says:

      Good! Now people will go to smaller
      neighborhood stores and help them
      survive. I live across the
      street from Lowe’s but on principle
      never spent a penny there. I wish a
      supermarket would reopen there!
      That’s what this neighborhood
      needs.

    30. BJK says:

      Would be nice if a supermarket moved back in there (this site used to be a Food Emporium). We have nothing in the area except Gourmet Garage on 66th which I won’t go in to any longer because of their outrageous price gouging.

      • wombatNYC says:

        Speaking of outrageous price gouging .. Has anyone been to Gary Null’s recently. The prices are criminal ( other then the delicious popcorn and fresh juices )

      • Smithe says:

        Seriously, the prices at GG are so outrageous it’s insulting to an educated consumer. Not to mention the staff isn’t particularly friendly or helpful.

    31. Suzanne says:

      Not a big loss to the neighborhood. Multiple times I’d end up at Gartner’s Hardware on 72nd St. due to Lowes poor stock and selection at Lowe’s. Staff was unknowledgeable to boot.
      Waste of space. Surprised at how many said it seemed busy. I have never seen it busy! Not once even had to wait on line.
      Let’s get a Supermarket back in there!!

    32. Jeff Berger says:

      I am not surprised. I needed a new oven for my apartment. Of course, I needed a narrow one to fit in to my small kitchen. I went to Lowes and looked around. They had one that looked great and the price was fair. I placed the order and it never arrived. I got many stories from their phone center, and just a shrug from the instore staff. I then went to PC Richard (where I should have gone the first time) and not only did they have it, but they delivered it the next day. Lowes is great suburban store, but they never figured out the needs of an urban market. To see what can be done well, go to the Home Depot in Chelsea. That is a great store with a well trained staff.

      • EricaC says:

        PC Richard has been great for me – I try to buy things there whenever I need something that’s in their “category”. The staff has been great, they are reliable, and their installation and delivery was great too. I had them put my TV on the wall too (I think you have to buy the TV there). I hope others will buy there too so they can keep on going!

    33. MC Bar says:

      A Shock!!! Their plants were great, and the lady who worked in that department was so knowledgeable, kind, and patient! Where will all the employees go? Was planning on replacing a plant on Saturday, and, Marathon-crowd weary, I decided to wait until Monday. Lesson learned? Nope. Why no notice???
      Harumph.

    34. Gus says:

      Noooooooooo. Huge loss. They say you know you’ve reached adulthood when you stop shopping at places like Zara and HM and most of your money starts going to places like Lowes and IKEA. I felt like I was in this store every single weekend. Don’t even know why, always needed something. Hopefully target can pick up some slack. I’ve been to Gartners a few times (for keys), guess I’ll be getting more acquainted with them. Will miss Lowes plant / soil / fertilizer department, small as it was, it provided 90% of what we needed.

    35. Jen says:

      Their Christmas trees were a fraction of the price of sidewalk markets.

    36. Scott says:

      This store was certainly an odd duck. No construction supplies, really. My nearby bodega hardware store 1/5 the size of Lowe’s carries more in the way of mortar, plaster and grout than did Lowe’s. Their target market was women, so lots of pretty plants and throw pillows, etc.

    37. Manahatta Matters 2 Me says:

      Re: “directing people to Brooklyn or New Jersey.”

      O.M.G. 😱 New Jersey!?!?!! AAARRGGGHHH! NO WAY!

      Brooklyn? Okay-ish, esp. the very hip parts.

      N.J.? Never! Jimmy Hoffa’s probably buried there!

    38. robert miller says:

      LOWES is closing dozens of stores all over the U.S.

    39. Jon Connor says:

      They didn’t understand their market and who they were selling to. – They dedicated way too much space in that store to gardening, and patio furniture.. How many people here have outdoor space?!
      Their overall inventory was always an issue

      Maybe home depot could come into GH’s spot and do it the right way.

    40. MTS says:

      All of these scaled-down versions of big-box stores end up being somewhat useless in my experience. They seem promising at first, but they have such a limited (and often poorly chosen) stock that they’re doomed from the get-go. Mini Target, mini Lowes, mini Bed Bath & Beyond. All seemingly useful, but in real life they never have what I’m looking for. I end up going out of my way to shop at the full-sized store. It’s more of a schlep, but at least you find what you want.

    41. sam says:

      I think one of the main problems was that they got a lot of browsing, but they never really differentiated themselves in terms of why people would buy stuff there. I went in a few times, but I’d end up disappointed more often than not. The few times when I truly needed a “real hardware store” item – like a piece of custom-cut wood, they were unable to accommodate me, because that store ‘didn’t do that sort of thing’ (even though their stores in the suburbs did).

      All the other stuff they sold is available at local stores like Gartners, or other housewares stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond, or, quite frankly, order-able online from a variety of places.

    42. Mia says:

      The service there was just horrendous. Have never seen more rude, indifferent employees so I refused to shop there.

    43. ben says:

      why do people keep asking for grocery stores in that space? how many grocery stores do you need in a 20 block radius, TJ (x2!), WFM (x2!), fairway, citarella, zabars, and these are just the big ones.

    44. Marie says:

      This was one of 51 Lowes stores that were scheduled to be closed by February 1, 2019. I went there 2 times after they opened and noticed an insufficient use of a large retail space. They had a section with candy that was larger than the section with Dewalt brand and Black & Decker hand tools. I have seen more hand tools and cleaning supplies at the local dollar stores than this Lowes. It was an ambiguous store with a weird layout. I think Ace hardware on Columbus Ave has a better layout and selection of merchandise and it is a smaller space.

    45. P. Salta says:

      They never had thingscacreal hardwarevstorevshould have& the staff always said order it online! Home Depot has everything all the time. It’s a schlep, but at least I get what need.

    46. Grant says:

      Upper management of Lowe’s take note. You can’t open a store that differs from your regular plan and expect that it won’t need extra attention to get it running smoothly. No one here cared. Did you hear that? No one here cared. I’ve never seen a Lowe’s or Home Depot with a worse collective employee attitude. Textbook 101 awful! Felt as if some of the employees resented you being there. Store stock neglected, restocked inadequately, and chosen poorly.
      Was there a manager assigned to this store? I never saw evidence of that.

      Granted that even if you had done all correctly, would have been tough to make your stores work here. The city is not full of the same DIY males that the suburbs are.

      Sorry to see you go because you were a useful resource despite the extra effort required to navigate your obstacles.

    47. Kate says:

      Thank goodness. Small selection, unhelpful salespeople, and just a waste of a great space.

      Bring back the old Food Emporium! It has been sorely missed.

    48. patrick says:

      This is too bad although I did not have a good experience with them. I ordered 7 appliances for my apartment when it was renovated in 2016 and getting everything delivered from Lowes was a truly horrific experience. However, at the end of the day, the price we initially paid was extremely low and the store gave us an additional 10% off ($1000+) due to their various errors and issues.

    49. Christine Elbert says:

      I hope Lowes management realizes it is not the location, it’s the way they ran the store (product mix, dead plants, etc.). In Chelsea, Lowes went head to head with Home Depot. According to staff I spoke with at the Home Depot in Chelsea, the Chelsea HD store is the highest grossing HD in the USA. HD routinely sends staff from other HDs around the country to come and train in NY. If Lowes could not succeed with some of that spillover effect, they really need to rethink their entire retail strategy.

    50. Christine E says:

      Lowes management seemed to “set it and forget it.” While they clearly tried to understand and meet demands of the urban market (plant potting station, kids build-it events), they never updated the inventory mix. They had the same 20 light fixtures on display for 3 years! They also did not seem to cater to the important contractor market. Every contractor I know would go all the way to HD to pick up job materials, even though Lowes was in the neighborhood.

    51. Young Sally says:

      Went there a couple of times a week when I was sprucing up my apartment for sale — the late hours and online ordering were great — and my sister and I developed quite a rapport with Tanice behind the front desk because we always bought contractor level stuff (50lbs of floor resurfacer etc). But excluding the “professionals” corner, most of the stuff was odd and something I could get at Ajo or Aquarius….and the paint counter at Sherwin Williams was closer and very accommodating. Gracious Home was too expensive – but you could find almost ANYTHING (lamp finial extension nut anyone?) – but you paid for it.

    52. Been There says:

      We tried buying a dishwasher there. Process was bureaucratic and wasteful. Ended up canceling and going with PC Richard, which totally eased the process.

    53. Ava sterling says:

      There’s a lowes on sixth avenue near 19 street.

    54. Elizabeth says:

      Bring back Food Emporium!!!

    55. Cozmocharlie says:

      go to Gartner’s Hardware, a full service hardware store at 162 West 72 Street It was/is always better that Lowe’s, more inventory, better service, knowledgeable staff. AND it’s local!

    56. Debbie says:

      We need a supermarket back there. Why can’t this happen? Seems like a no brainer to me. Some company must be able to afford the rent.

    57. Peter Brandt says:

      Very SAD ! I renovated my apartment with Lowe’s. Good thing I’m finished. Why, not enought sales versus rent ? Like so many other retail store fronts around town. Land Owners too greedy ?

    58. Loh Phat says:

      Good. They royally screwed up a washer/dryer purchase by changing the delivery date without warning to when I was out of town.

      It’s sad we lost Emporium foods to get Loews and then it’s out in 3 years.

    59. B.B. says:

      Lowes is closing many “under performing” locations for many reasons. Primary however is that Home Depot has a much tighter e-fulfillment network and thus they are clobbering Lowes.

      Go to HomeDepot.com and off the bat when seeking something it will tell you if the item is located at a local store. This and or if it can be sent there for you to collect.

      E-fulfillment allows stores with a small physical location to offer greater inventory than otherwise possible. This at much lower cost because merchandise is coming from central warehouses/distribution centers.

      Lowes wasn’t in competition per se with local UWS hardware stores, but really with Home Depot who despite not having a location in area still makes their money.

    60. jd says:

      This store wasn’t very good. I’d rather go to Home Depot on 23rd st.
      Let’s hope they put in something we can use. I actually miss the Food Emporium that was there.

    61. Sue says:

      Saw on the news that 30-50 stores closed in US and Canada. Not just this one.

    62. JS says:

      Happened to go in on Sunday. There was no indication the store was going to close.
      Am guessing that the staff did not know either. The person helping us encouraged us to get in touch with any followup questions.

      Interesting to read the numerous comments on WSR – and that few express any concern for the people who apparently have lost their jobs…

      Really sad that people have lost jobs.
      And really sad so few WSR posters seem to care.

      • Woody says:

        That’s typical for WSR posters. They would rather see a chain store close than locals have jobs. Then they bitch that the small stores they claim to patronize don’t have good prices or an adequate selection of products. what they really do is shop online.

        • Sean says:

          Locals don’t work in retail here on the UWS. They haven’t in 30 years.

        • JS says:

          Hi Woody,
          Few if any of the Lowe’s staff live in the neighborhood as housing is so expensive.
          Sadly the West Side like other parts of NYC has been luxurified. Most chain store staff have long commutes, traveling from other boroughs or NJ to Manhattan jobs.
          In conversations with several Lowe’s staff, also learned that a number of Lowe’s stores were open late, til,10 pm or later. Thus employees also had long commutes late at night.
          The new “serf” society here. Affluent people enjoy comfortable housing, food delivery, parks, relatively easy commutes to work etc. in contrast Store staff, delivery workers etc get low pay, long hours, long commutes etc.

    63. NYYgirl says:

      Why do so many people keep saying that this Lowe’s Store didn’t have what they needed so they “ended up going to Gartner’s”, Maybe I’m really missing something, but why not just patronize Gartner’s in the first place? Longtime non-chain store has what you need? Win-win!

      • Mitch Jacobs says:

        Their light bulb inventory was never replenished, or so it seemed. What could be a more basic item?. They did not have the key blank I needed. Gartners had it. I will not miss Lowes.

    64. BillyNYC says:

      I forgot it was even there!

    65. Anthony says:

      Here’s an article about Lowe’s store closings. The two in Manhattan are listed as among the 20 “underperforming” stores in the U.S. that are closed. https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/05/business/lowes-closures/index.html

    66. UWSHebrew says:

      79 comments about the closing of a hardware store. 14 comments about swastikas. What is wrong with all of you?

      • Cato says:

        How many variants can there be of a reaction to swastikas appearing?

        This isn’t a popular vote; it’s a place to share individual experiences. While there is some repetition in people’s experiences of Lowe’s, what you see are people’s individual experiences of the hardware store. But probably everyone’s feelings about swastikas are more homogeneous. So why bother posting “I feel that way too”?

        You’re either over-thinking this or just trying to find ways to criticize others. Maybe both. There’s no meaning in the different numbers of comments; stop trying to find one.

    67. Smithe says:

      While I greatly support bringing in a grocery store to this location, don’t you think the local market has already proven it isn’t sustainable? If Food Emporium couldn’t make it there, what makes us think another supermarket would make a go of it? The rent is likely higher now than it was when FE closed.

    68. Haley says:

      Apparently Lowe’s closed 51 stores yesterday?? All across the US and Canada, and all pretty much without warning.

      According to them, it’s “a necessary step in our strategic reassessment as we focus on building a stronger business.”

      … Idk about you, but it sounds to me like the whole thing is about to fold.

    69. Roze says:

      The space that Lowe’s occupied was a SUPERMARKET for many, many years. Hoping for a return.

    70. DRex says:

      Thanks for chasing out Gracious Home, Lowes.