Lowe's buys online retailer ATG Stores

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Home improvement retailer Lowe's acquired online retailer ATG Stores, the company said on Dec. 29. Lowe's spokesperson Karen Cobb said the acquisition closed yesterday afternoon but declined to disclose terms.

“ATG is one of the fastest growing e-retailers in the United States. They've got more than 500 merchandise microsites, 3.5 million products and about 3,300 vendors,” Cobb said. “From the Lowe's perspective, we are always evaluating opportunities to give customers more access to products whenever and wherever they choose. This is what we refer to as the ‘endless aisle.'”

ATG Stores will operate as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Lowe's, Cobb said, and ATG Stores CEO Gary Rubens will report to Doug Robinson, SVP of international operations and customer support services at Lowe's. All of ATG Stores' nearly 300 employees will be retained and continue to work out of the company's Kirkland, Wash.-based headquarters, she said.

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's will transition a “small number” of Lowe's employees to ATG's Kirkland office “in the next three to six months,” Cobb added.

In October, Lowe's said that it had begun closing 20 of its brick-and-mortar stores in 15 states. The company also said it shrunk the number of North American stores it would open, starting in 2012 from roughly 30 stores to between 10 and 15 stores. Lowe's operated 1,744 stores in North America as of Oct. 28.

Lowe's reported in November that its third-quarter net earnings plunged by 44% year-over-year to $225 million despite same-store sales increasing by 0.7% compared with the prior year.

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