Downsizing Expert Offers Commentary to Toronto Star

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Prof. Nita Chhinzer

Prof. Nita Chhinzer, Department of Management in U of G’s Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, contributed a commentary to the Toronto Star about the impact that Lowes’ repeated decision to close stores is having on employees.

Chhinzer, a professor of human resources whose research focuses on downsizing practices, procedures and ethics, noted that on the same day that Lowe’s announced last week that it was shutting 34 Canadian stores, it also reported US$1 billion in profits. What’s more, these closings come just 12 months ago after the announced closures of 31 other Rona and Lowe’s locations.

Strategically, Lowes might be trying to ease the pain by making cuts to a few locations at a time, Chhinzer said, but the repeated cuts hurt the morale of employees who are left, as they now wait and wonder when the next set of closings will come.

Chhinzer and colleague Prof. Agnes Zdaniuk recently completed research that examined how the tone and messenger of downsizing announcements affect how shareholders react to the news.