April 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Big Lots, Inc. 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.