Big Lots to Open 500 New Stores, Adding 50 Locations in 2022
Big Lots on Monday said that it could open 500 net stores, or more, in the coming years, according to a company press release. The retailer plans to add more than 50 net new stores in 2022, and more than 80 per year after that, according to an investor presentation. The store openings, together with initiatives to boost merchandise sales productivity and grow e-commerce, are aimed at bringing the retailer's sales to $8 billion to $10 billion in the long term.
Total Retail's Take: Big Lots, like many discount retailers, has seen growth during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers' tightened their wallets amidst economic uncertainty. It didn't experience such steep drop-offs in foot traffic to its stores as shoppers continued to be drawn to its deep discount treasure-hunt experience. Big Lots' other upper hands include its wide product assortment in home categories such as food, furniture and seasonal products, and its focus on omnichannel and e-commerce.
Big Lots was bolstered in the fourth quarter by strong holiday sales, reporting two-year comps for fiscal November and December up 9 percent. Taking all of this into consideration, it makes sense for Big Lots to take the opportunity to expand while other retailers are struggling with, or even closing, brick-and-mortar locations. Bruce Thorn, president and CEO of Big Lots, stated he sees "a clear and long runway for growth ahead of us" and comments that the retailer has "all of the foundations in place to accomplish this, including a seasoned and ambitious team, new tools and technologies, and a proven pipeline of innovation."
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.