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Q1 sales down at Big Lots

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Big Lots reported that sales for its first quarter ended April 30 were $1.2 billion, a decrease of 0.5% compared with $.22 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2010.  Comparable-store sales for stores decreased 3.6% for the first quarter of fiscal 2011.  

Commenting on sales for the quarter, Steve Fishman, chairman, CEO and president stated, "While sales were on plan and comps were positive in the first half of the quarter, our business softened in the second half of the quarter.  We believe significant weather challenges in most of our major markets throughout the country contributed to the change in sales trends impacting transactions and sales of seasonally sensitive merchandise.  On a regional basis, the Southern regions or warmer weather areas performed the best while the Northern and Central regions noticeably underperformed."

The company said its strongest category was consumables and lawn and garden was its weakest.

Big Lots said it expects to report complete first-quarter results on May 26.

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