Sadly, this move is driven by a need to increase profitability and nothing more.
Why is that sad? While you certainly wouldn't celebrate the fact that nearly 2000 people are losing their jobs, profit and loss are 2 of the most important ingredients in a capitalist economy. Profits and losses are indications of whether we're doing the right things or not. It's how the people in the marketplace tell businesses what is needed and wanted, what should be eliminated, what should be expanded, etc. It would seem consumers in the affected regions do not value what Lowe's is selling at a level high enough for Lowe's management to justify the continued operations of those stores. Only time will tell if Lowe's made the right decision or not, but these kinds of things must happen in order to have a healthy economy.