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Lowe’s looks to hire 65,000 new employees this year

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Lowe’s said Friday it plans to hire more than 65,000 people this year — some permanently and others on a seasonal basis — to help fill roles ranging from customer service to merchandising. It also is planning to ditch some existing roles, which the company says will help it “simply operations” in stores.

The home improvement retailer said 10,000 of the new jobs will be permanent and on its merchandising team. It said 6,000 will be full-time store managers and department supervisors in stores. And 2,000 will be technology roles to help build out Lowe’s website, while the remaining more than 50,000 positions will be temporary and filled ahead of the busy spring season.

“We are investing in key leadership positions across our stores to enhance customer service while also creating jobs that will improve the availability of our most popular products,” CEO Marvin Ellison said Friday in a statement. Ellison just joined Lowe’s from J.C. Penney last year, and already has made a number of significant moves including shutting stores and exiting Lowe’s business in Mexico.

Lowe’s said Friday that as it adds new jobs it will, meanwhile, be discontinuing its Project Specialist Interiors program in stores. It didn’t disclose which other positions it would be getting rid of.

The announcement by Lowe’s in the first week of 2019 comes as the U.S. is still seeing record-low unemployment, with many businesses in turn being forced to hike starting wages or offer other incentives to lure talent to fill open jobs. Last year, thanks to new tax legislation, Lowe’s said it was able to give some of its employees bonuses of up to $1,000. The retailer also expanded its benefits package — adding adoption assistance and paid parental leave.

In January 2018, Lowe’s said it planned to hire more than 53,000 full- and part-time staffers to meet peak spring demand. New this year is Lowe’s focus on filling tech positions and finding more help for inventory management, which Ellison has called out as one of the company’s weaknesses.

Lowe’s shares were last up about 3 percent Friday afternoon. The stock is only up about 1 percent over the past 12 months.

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