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Some Lowe’s employees offered voluntary severance package

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WILKESBORO, N.C. -- Lowe's Home Improvement has offered a voluntary severance package to thousands of employees as the company tries to cut costs.

Lowe's spokeswoman Julie Yenichek said a notice explaining the offer was sent to full-time employees at its corporate offices in Wilkesboro and Mooresville on Monday.

Notices were also sent to corporate employees based in the field, but no store employees were offered a severance package, Yenichek said.

The notice gives employees 14 business days to decide whether to take the severance, which includes a lump-sum payment and other benefits.

The payment is determined through current salary and years of service, Yenichek said. One employee, for example, was offered about $10,000.

The severance offer is only valid for those whom Lowe's sent a notice, Yenichek said.

The majority of employees who take the separation are expected to be released by April 27, Yenichek said.

This is the first time the company has offered a voluntary severance. The company  explained its reason to offer a severance in a statement:

The voluntary severance program is expected to help reduce the need for possible involuntary reductions. However, if additional cost reduction is needed, an involuntary reduction in force can be implemented to achieve the cost reduction necessary to meet Lowe’s business objectives.

Yenichek said they have "no way of knowing" how many people will accept the offer.

A source outside the company told FOX8's Mitch Carr on Monday that employees who used to take a bus from Wilkesboro to Mooresville will likely take the severance. The bus service stopped in January.

North Wilkesboro Mayor Robert Johnson said he fears some residents may leave if they choose not to work for Lowe's.

"I think they'll find something to do. But they may go somewhere out of town," Johnson said. "There's not a lot of a whole lot of stuff around here. We're just like a lot of communities. We've lost a lot of industry. Corporate companies have to do what corporate companies do to stay in business."

Lowe's employs about 234,000 people companywide. About 5,200 employees got the offer, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.