Top 100 retailer says it could close 40 stores in 2024

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In the 240-page filing in which Top 100 retailer Big Lots outlined potential issues, it also noted that it expects multiple store closures in fiscal year 2024.

In the June 13 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission in which it expressed doubt about its ability to continue as an ongoing concern, the Columbus, Ohio-based discounter indicated that it expects to close 35 to 40 stores in 2024 while opening three. As of May 4, Big Lots operated 1,392 stores in 48 states.

As its core shopper feels the most pressure due to inflation and price increases, the company noted that it is affecting its sales, particularly in higher ticket items such as furniture.

“In the first quarter of 2024, we experienced decreased comps and net sales in all of our merchandise categories. Our home products categories, which include furniture, seasonal, soft home and hard home, continue to be negatively impacted by macroeconomic pressures affecting our customers’ discretionary spending in the first quarter of 2024,” it wrote. “Our furniture and seasonal categories continue to be impacted by a decrease in demand for large-ticket products as customers remain cautious with discretionary spending.”

While much of the news looks grim, the filing had indicators that Big Lots might be on the right track toward reversing some of those trends given enough time. For instance, it noted that its operating loss in the first quarter of 2024 was 19.1%, compared to an operating loss of 23.2% in the first quarter of 2023 while it shrank inventory year-over-year by 12.7% in the quarter to $949.9 million.

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