Big Lots expects to close dozens of stores, company’s future in doubt

CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — Big Lots expects to close between 35 and 40 stores this year, according to a U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filing from the company last month.

Company leaders said inflation and their inability to compete under economic pressures have led to a substantial doubt in their ability to continue.

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Big Lots has nearly 1,400 stores throughout the country. It is not clear which stores could close; Big Lots did not immediately reply to a request for more information.

Big Lots also expects to open three stores, according to the filing.

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During the first quarter of 2024, the company reported $1 billion in sales, a 10.2% decrease compared to the same period last year.

President and CEO of Big Lots Bruce Thorn said in a June statement:

"While we made substantial progress on improving our business operations in Q1, we missed our sales goals due largely to a continued pullback in consumer spending by our core customers, particularly in high ticket discretionary items. We remain focused on managing through the current economic cycle by controlling the controllables. As we move forward, we're taking aggressive actions to drive positive comp sales growth in the latter part of the year and into 2025, and to maintain year-over-year gross margin rate improvements, all driven by progress on our five key actions."

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