Big Lots currently has some 1,400 stores in 47 states.
No-frills stores, with their large, bright white and orange signs have a widely eclectic mix of merchandise — everything from mattresses, lamps and kitchen appliances to toys, snacks, pet food and cleaning supplies. Executives at the quirky chain refer to its target customer as “Jennifer” and focuses on “being the authority on price and value to Jennifer.”
But the company struggled last year, as Big Lots’ comparable sales dropped 4.7% in 2021 through October, its latest results. Like other discount stores with low-cost operating models, Big Lots was also hampered by supply shortages and higher labor, shipping and transportation costs.
On Monday, Big Lots said it has seen a “softening of traffic and sales trends” since early January, which it attributed to the spread of the Omicron variant and bad weather across the country. Big Lots lowered its sales expectations for January as a result.