Big Lots’ home department picking up in first quarter

Columbus, Ohio – Big Lots is adjusting first-quarter expectations based on recently improved sales trends, which have been improving up to now and are expected to continue through the end of the period, which is May 2.

The off-price closeout chain, which operates 1,345 units in 47 states, said it now expects its comparable store sales to be “near the better end of our previously communicated guidance, which called for a decrease in comparable store sales in the range of 1% to 3% against a 3.4% comp increase last year,” the company said in a statement.

Home was singled out as among the “encouraging” merchandise categories, “where sales trends have improved” but comps still remain below last year’s levels.

The top performing categories so far in the first quarter have been consumables, furniture, and hard lines, with particular momentum in electronics. Toys have also been strong, resulting in sales trends above last year’s same period.

While the first quarter got off to a slow start in February, sales performance of seasonal merchandise, especially in the lawn and garden and summer departments, “accelerated and was above last year in March and to date in April,” the company added.

 

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