Big Lots to shut down its wholesale business

Columbus, Ohio -- Big Lots will close down its wholesale operations — Big Lots Wholesale, Consolidated International and Wisconsin Toy — by the end of its current fiscal year as it concentrates its focus on its retail stores. The shuttering will result in the liquidation of the wholesale unit's inventory.

Big Lots CEO and president David Campisi noted that the decision to exit the wholesale business was not one the company took lightly as it involved a number of dedicated associates. But he said “over the years, the wholesale business environment has changed, become increasingly more competitive, and the sales and margin growth opportunities are not what they once were.”

“We believe a narrower focus and investing in new ways to enhance our relationship with the customer will provide greater value for our shareholders over the longer term," Campisi said.

Big Lots said it expects to record a charge in its third quarter of $5 million to $8 million resulting from the closing.

Campisi said the company is evaluating all aspects of its current operations and potential new business opportunities.

“We have already identified and begun to execute towards several new initiatives such as the expansion of our cooler and freezer program, the introduction of furniture financing, and our desire to enter the digital, social, and omnichannel space,” he said. “These new initiatives also represent potential growth and development for our associates here in Columbus and in our field operations team."

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