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Big Lots Hits Sales Plan in 3Q

COLUMBUS, OHIO - In line with its guidance, Big Lots Inc.'s third quarter total sales climbed 6.0% to $1.1 billion, the closeout chain reported last week.
     Comparable store sales for stores open at least two years at the beginning of the fiscal year rose 1.7% in the period. Home comps were positive, the company said.
     Year to date, retail sales from U.S. operations totaled $3.8 billion, up 2.3%. Comps slipped 1.3%.
     "We were encouraged by the improving trends in most of our major merchandise categories, positive early response to certain of our holiday strategies, and favorable results from our promotional friends and family event during the quarter," said Steve Fishman, chairman, ceo and president of the 1,445-unit chain.
     "Our stores are set for the holiday season and I am confident we are prepared to be aggressive and drive sales during the all-important fourth quarter," Fishman added.
     Big Lots will disclose sales from its recently acquired Canadian operation when it releases full quarterly results Dec. 1.

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