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Big Lots

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Big Lots Stores, Inc.
Big Lots
  • Consolidated Stores Corp.
Company typePublic
FoundedAs Consolidated Stores Corp.: December 13, 1967; 56 years ago (1967-12-13)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
FounderSol A. Shenk
Number of locations
1,426 (2023)
Area served
Contiguous United States
Key people
Bruce Thorn[1]
(President and CEO)
ProductsFood and Beverage, toys, furniture, clothing, housewares, small electronics
RevenueIncrease US$6.15 billion (2021)[2]
Increase US$239.7 million (2021)
Increase US$177.77 million (2021)
Total assetsIncrease US$1.41 billion (2021)
Number of employees
22,900[3] (2018)
SubsidiariesLW Stores (defunct)

Big Lots Stores, Inc. (stylized as Big Lots!) is an American discount retail chain headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, United States.[4]



The Big Lots chain traces its history back to 1967 when Consolidated Stores Corporation was formed in Ohio by Sol Shenk.[5] In 1982, Consolidated Stores Corp. opened its first closeout store, called Odd Lots, in Columbus, Ohio. In 1983, drug store chain Revco bought New Jersey closeout retailer Odd Lot Trading Co.[6] As Consolidated's Odd Lots stores expanded from Columbus, Revco took issue with the fact that another closeout retailer was operating a chain with national aspirations that had a similar name as the Revco-owned subsidiary. Consolidated Stores Corp. agreed to limit their use of the Odd Lots name to stores located within a certain radius of Columbus. Beyond the radius, Consolidated began opening stores under the Big & Small Lots name. Eventually, all Odd Lots stores were rebranded as Big Lots.[7][8][9]

Consolidated Stores Corp. was an investor in the DeLorean Motor Company, which declared bankruptcy in 1982. Consolidated took possession of approximately 100 DeLorean models, then still at the factory in Northern Ireland, when the U.S. importer was unable to import them.[5] This unusual excess inventory acquisition is commemorated on the Big Lots website's "Closeout Museum" page.[10] In 1985, Consolidated Stores Corp. began trading as a separate public company on the American Stock Exchange.[11] In 1986, Consolidated Stores Corp. switched to the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol CNS.

In 1994, Consolidated Stores Corp. acquired Toy Liquidators, adding 82 stores in 38 states. Looking to expand further into the toy business, Consolidated Stores Corp. purchased KB Toys from Melville Corporation in 1996.[12] Shortly afterward, Melville purchased Revco[13] and folded it into the CVS Pharmacy chain on its way to becoming CVS Health, making the "Odd Lots" dispute moot.

In 1998, Big Lots Inc. bought out 'MacFrugals' (Pic 'N' Save) stores for $995 million in stock, converting them to the Big Lots brand.[14][8]

In 2000, Consolidated Stores Corp. sold the KB Toys and Toy Liquidators lines to Bain Capital.[15][16] A year later, Consolidated Stores Corp. changed its name to Big Lots, Inc. and its ticker symbol from CNS to BIG.[17][18]

In the later part of 2005, Big Lots closed 170 stores, including all free-standing Big Lots Furniture specialty stores.[19]

On August 3, 2006, Big Lots announced that it would change its New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol from BLI to BIG, beginning with trading activity on August 18, 2006.[20]

In October 2023, CreditRiskMonitor reported that Big Lots was nearing a potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.[21] The company closed 52 stores in 2023.

In July 2024, Big Lots announced the closure of 35 to 40 underperforming locations nationwide, blaming inflation and high rising costs as part of the decision. The company warned that it may not be able to survive the rest of 2024 and that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing would be imminent. Throughout 2023 and 2024, the company lost over $100 million in sales.[22][23]

Big Lots Wholesale


Big Lots operated a wholesale division which provided merchandise in bulk. Big Lots closed its wholesale division at the end of the 2013 fiscal year. The Columbus-based closeout retailer had conducted wholesale operations through Big Lots Wholesale, Consolidated International and Wisconsin Toy for more than 34 years.[24]

Big Lots Canada


On July 19, 2011, Big Lots announced that it had purchased Liquidation World Inc., a Canadian closeout retailer with 89 locations. The cost of the acquisition was $20 million in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities. This represents Big Lots first retail venture outside of the US. The first Big Lots location in Canada opened in April 2013 in Orillia, Ontario, followed by Burlington, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, and Thunder Bay (all in Ontario as well). Big Lots exited the Canadian marketplace in 2014, citing poor sales.[25]

See also



  1. ^ "Leadership". Biglots.com.
  2. ^ "Annual Reports". BigLots.com.
  3. ^ "Big Lots". Fortune. Archived from the original on April 14, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  4. ^ "About Us - Big Lots". www.biglots.com. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Holusha, John (September 1, 1994). "Sol A. Shenk, 83, Merchandiser Who Built a 700-Store Empire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  6. ^ "REVCO BUILDING "CLOSE-OUT" MERCHANDISING BUSINESS WITH ODD LOT ACQUISITION FOR $113 MIL.; PURCHASE INCLUDES $78 MIL. WHSLE. BUSINESS". The Pink Sheet. April 30, 1984. Archived from the original on March 2, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  7. ^ "Leased thru June 30, 2027" (PDF). Retail Investment Group. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  8. ^ a b Jensen, Trevor (July 2, 2001). "Bigger Budget Backs Big Lots Rebranding Moves". www.adweek.com. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  9. ^ "Big Lots: History". Big Lots. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  10. ^ "Big Lots - Retail". October 16, 2006. Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  11. ^ "Securities Act Registrations" (PDF). SEC News Digest. May 24, 1985. p. 5. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  12. ^ "Melville in Accord to Sell Toy Chain to Consolidated". The New York Times. March 26, 1996. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  13. ^ Segal, David (February 7, 1997). "CVS TO ACQUIRE REVCO IN $2.8 BILLION STOCK DEAL". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  14. ^ Martin L., de Vore (July 2, 2002). "MacFrugal's get a new name". Chron. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  15. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; BAIN CAPITAL BUYS TOYS UNIT OF CONSOLIDATED STORES". The New York Times. December 9, 2000. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  16. ^ Maestri, Nicole (December 8, 2000). "Consolidated Stores sells KB Toys". MarketWatch. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  17. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; CONSOLIDATED STORES CHANGES ITS NAME TO BIG LOTS". The New York Times. May 17, 2001. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  18. ^ Archives, L. A. Times (May 17, 2001). "Consolidated Stores to Be Called Big Lots". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  19. ^ "Big Lots closing up to 170 stores". Milwaukee Business Journal. October 7, 2005. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "SEC 10k Filing" (PDF). 2006 Annual Report. Part III (Part 3): 14. May 31, 2007. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  21. ^ "11 retailers at risk of bankruptcy in 2023". Retail Dive. October 2, 2023. Retrieved October 3, 2023.
  22. ^ Herzlich, Taylor (July 5, 2024). "Big Lots to close stores, may file for bankruptcy". Retrieved July 9, 2024.
  23. ^ Walrath-Holdridge, Mary (July 10, 2024). "Big Lots to close 35 to 40 stores this year amid 'doubt' the company can survive". USA Today. Retrieved July 12, 2024.
  24. ^ Feran, Tim (November 11, 2013). "Big Lots to shut down wholesale division". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  25. ^ Buchanan, Doug (December 5, 2013). "Big Lots getting back out of Canada". Columbus Business First. American City Business Journals. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  • Business data for Big Lots:
  • Media related to Big Lots at Wikimedia Commons
  • Official website
  • Big Lots SEC Filings