• Jennifer Marks

Big Lots unveils new brand positioning, store prototype

Restyles as community discount store

Big Lots Columbus, Ohio – As Big Lots puts the finishing touches on its Store of the Future format, the retailer is also repositioning the brand and its tag line.

The one-time closeout chain, which abandoned that buying strategy a few years ago, is calling itself a community discount store – a moderately-sized format focused on providing inspiration for home decorating and highlighting its involvement in local causes.

The new tag line: Serve Big, Save Lots.

“What you’re going to see is a new brand personality in the stores: passionate, fun, optimistic. It’s a whole different relationship with Jennifer [Big Lot’s core customer],” said Tim Johnson, evp, chief administrative officer and cfo.

During the company’s analyst day meeting this morning, Big Lots offered more detail on the Store of the Future:

  • The format places furniture, soft home and seasonal up front.
  • Retrofits in the headquarters market of Columbus have been completed. Makeovers are now underway in the Phoenix market, where Big Lots operates roughly 20 stores.
  • Big Lots will renovate 180-200 stores to the new format each year over the next three years. It will take five to seven years to convert the entire chain.

“Jennifer is still very interested in a store experience, that’s what she’s telling us,” said Lisa Bachmann, evp/chief merchandising officer/chief operating officer. “She’s also telling us she needs help decorating. Jennifer is taking us to our new store layout and experience.”

The Store of the Future format features more home merchandising vignettes and new signage with lifestyle photography. Big Lots will also begin testing digital signage offering decorating ideas as well as kiosks in furniture and seasonal in early 2018.

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