Joe Cooper

Big Lots is welcoming a step-up in consumer spending, feeling that its deep discount approach will resonate even more. "We're definitely a fan of an improving economic environment," said Big Lots Chief Financial Officer Joe Cooper. The road is clearer to open more upscale outlets, merchandise is still easy to come by and demand goes up, Cooper said. Big Lots and other lower-end retailers benefited during the recession as consumers traded down. The big question is how their business will fare when the economy recovers.

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