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Lowe's Slows Store Growth

In a sign that the people with the closest view of housing expect market conditions to remain weak for a long time, Lowe's (LOW) is expected to announce this week that it is curbing its ambitious expansion plans.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig expects Lowe's to open 75 new stores next year for 4.5% growth in retail-square footage, down from 120 stores opening this year, to generate about 8% growth. Lowe's had previously said it expected to open 135 to 145 new stores each year.

Home Depot (HD) has been more drastic in cutting its store growth, but that's been at least partly motivated by the company's focus on improving its existing operations before it expands.

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