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Big Lots to focus on retail business, shuts down wholesale biz

Big Lots plans to close down its wholesale operations, Big Lots Wholesale, Consolidated International and Wisconsin Toy, by the end of the current fiscal year. The move is the latest in the company’s strategy to refine its business model and focus on its retail stores.

As things wind down for the wholesale business its inventory will be liquidated. The company says that it will assimilate employees into its retail operations wherever and whenever possible throughout the next 90 days.

Over the years, the wholesale business environment has changed, become increasingly more competitive, and the sales and margin growth opportunities are not what they once were, according to Big Lots CEO and president David Campisi.

“We believe a narrower focus and investing in new ways to enhance our relationship with the customer will provide greater value for our shareholders over the longer term," said Campisi.

The company expects to record a charge in its third quarter of $5 million to $8 million resulting from the closing.

“We have already identified and begun to execute toward several new initiatives such as the expansion of our cooler and freezer program, the introduction of furniture financing, and our desire to enter the digital, social, and omnichannel space,” Campisi added. “These new initiatives also represent potential growth and development for our associates here in Columbus and in our field operations team."

 

 

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