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Big Lots Sales Slip in First Quarter

Posted on May 5, 2011 by HFN Staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio-First-quarter retail sales at Big Lots fell 0.5 percent to $1.2 billion, according to a preliminary statement from the closeout retailer.

In addition, same-store sales in the quarter, which ended on April 30, declined 3.6 percent. Steve Fishman, chairman, president and CEO, said the first quarter started on a positive note, but softened in the second half of the quarter. "We believe significant weather challenges in most of our major markets throughout the country contributed to the change in sales trends, impacting transactions and sales of seasonally sensitive merchandise," Fishman said.

Fishman said consumables was Big Lots' best-performing product category in the first quarter, while seasonal--particularly the lawn and garden segment--trailed the other categories. On a regional basis, the weather put a particularly big hurt on Big Lots' sales in the Northeast and central United States.

The company will issue its full report on the first quarter on May 26.