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Big Lots shifting ad dollars from circulars to TV

DURANT, Okla. — Big Lots Stores Inc. laid out key initiatives for this year, including advertising and merchandising upgrades, during the Wachovia Securities 14th annual Nantucket Equity conference earlier today.

Efforts to better merchandising include improved in-stock performance, said Michael Potter, chairman and CEO. For the near future, the chain is looking to "bring in more talent and update systems," he said. "We still have more work to do in our merchandising initiatives."

Big Lots this year embarked on the second year of a national television advertising campaign that has helped grow the store's national awareness.

"We have only a 15 to 16 percent national awareness," Potter said. "TV helps us reach a broader audience."

The store said it used to release 42 circulars per year but recently cut back to 25 circulars annually and is spending the other half of this advertising budget on the television ads.

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