Big Lots Announces Additional Steps To Support Customers, Associates, and Communities Through The COVID-19 Crisis

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) today provided an update on its response to the COVID-19 crisis, including further actions the company is taking to support its customers, associates, and communities.

As a retailer of everyday home essentials, all Big Lots stores remain open for business and the company has continued to exceed its sales expectations. Notwithstanding the cancellation of its chainwide weekend friends and family event in early April, and the decision to close all stores on Easter day, the company has achieved positive month-to-date comps for fiscal April and positive quarter-to-date comps for the first fiscal quarter of 2020, including a significant acceleration of sales in the last two weeks.

Commenting on today's announcement, Bruce Thorn, President and CEO of Big Lots, said, "I could not be prouder of how our team, at every level, has responded to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. Providing a safe and healthy environment in our stores and distribution centers has been our number one priority. That in turn has enabled us to maintain business continuity and support our customers through these challenging times, resulting in positive quarter-to-date comps in-store as well as strong growth online. As a neighborhood discount store, in good times and bad, our mission is to help people Live Big and Save Lots. We are particularly grateful to be able to support the heroes in our medical, first responder, and emergency services communities by extending our heroes discount through the end of May."

The company also announced that it is extending the $2 hourly increase for hourly store and DC associates through May, and also extending its 30% associate discount. Through the Big Lots Foundation, $1 million has been set aside for the company's Employee Emergency Assistance Fund related to COVID-19, funded in part by the senior leadership team donating a portion of their salaries.

To ensure a safe environment for associates and customers, the company has added new protocols including:

  • Daily health screenings for in-store and DC associates completed prior to commencing a shift, using a new app the company developed that includes a brief questionnaire on the associate's current health and possible exposure to COVID-19, and a self-administered temperature check.
  • Significantly expanding the availability of personal protective equipment for associates, including gloves and masks, particularly in high risk areas.
  • Installing protective shields between our customers and cashiers at checkout stands in all stores.
  • Limiting store occupancy based on the size of the store and encouraging early shopping for seniors and those most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The company recently launched a commercial, titled "Big Responsibility," celebrating its store associates and highlighting its role as an essential retailer. Big Lots selected a cover of "Put A Little Love in Your Heart" by singer/songwriter duo Dominique & Redah to feature in the spot. To help spread love and hope during this tragic time, the artists will donate 25% of the income earned from the song to healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19. The 30-second ad will run through May 12 on select cable and local TV stations across the country, as well as programmatic video, and can be viewed here.

For more information on Big Lots' ongoing efforts in response to COVID-19, visit biglots.com/cv19, or the company's social media pages on LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Big Lots, Inc.
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) is a discount retailer operating 1,404 BIG LOTS stores in 47 states with product assortments in the merchandise categories of Furniture, Seasonal, Soft Home, Food, Consumables, Hard Home, and Electronics, Toys & Accessories. The company's mission is to help people Live BIG and Save Lots. The company strives to be the BIG difference for a better life by delivering unmatched value to customers through surprise and delight, being a "best places to work" culture for associates, rewarding shareholders with consistent growth and top tier returns, and doing good in communities as the company does well. For more information about the company, visit www.biglots.com.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and such statements are intended to qualify for the protection of the safe harbor provided by the Act. The words "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "objective," "goal," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "will," "should," "may," "target," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook" and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. Similarly, descriptions of objectives, strategies, plans, goals or targets are also forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to the expectations of management as to future occurrences and trends, including statements expressing optimism or pessimism about future operating results or events and projected sales, earnings, capital expenditures and business strategy. Forward-looking statements are based upon a number of assumptions concerning future conditions that may ultimately prove to be inaccurate. Forward-looking statements are and will be based upon management's then-current views and assumptions regarding future events and operating performance and are applicable only as of the dates of such statements. Although the company believes the expectations expressed in forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of knowledge, forward-looking statements, by their nature, involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, any one or a combination of which could materially affect business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.

Forward-looking statements that the company makes herein and in other reports and releases are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, current economic and credit conditions, the cost of goods, the inability to successfully execute strategic initiatives, competitive pressures, economic pressures on customers and the company, the availability of brand name closeout merchandise, trade restrictions, freight costs, the risks discussed in the Risk Factors section of the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and other factors discussed from time to time in other filings with the SEC, including Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. This release should be read in conjunction with such filings, and you should consider all of these risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating forward-looking statements.

You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You are advised, however, to consult any further disclosures the company makes on related subjects in public announcements and SEC filings.

Big Lots, Inc. logo. (PRNewsfoto/Big Lots, Inc.)

 

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SOURCE Big Lots, Inc.

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