Big Lots 3Q sales, comps inch upward
December 10, 2010,
Net sales increased 2.4% to $1,039.7 million compared to $1,015.6 million for the third quarter, ended October 30. Comparable store sales for stores open at least two years at the beginning of the fiscal year increased 0.7%.
Year-to-date results proved better, with retail sales totaling $3,393.5 million, a 5.5% increase versus $3,216.2 million last year. And comparable store sales increased 3.6% for the period.
"While sales results were solid during the first half of the quarter, we began to experience more volatile and inconsistent sales trends in late September lasting through October," said Steve Fishman, chairman, ceo and president of the 1,389-unit closeout chain in 48 states. "Our customers were very selective but were still willing to spend money where they saw tremendous values as evidenced by the continued strength in certain of our higher ticket, discretionary categories."
Fishman added that from a merchandising perspective, furniture and home "continued to be leading categories in our store, with furniture in particular comping up in the low double digits."
"Big Lots is also "encouraged" by the high-single digit comps it churned in its seasonal category and the early performance of its holiday toy business, "as each of these strategies are critical components of our fourth quarter holiday plans."