Big Lots to close 35 to 40 stores this year amid ‘doubt’ the company can survive

Big Lots to close 35 to 40 stores this year amid ‘doubt’ the company can survive


Discount retailer Big Lots plans to shut down 35 to 40 stores this year as it battles with worsening financials and a tough consumer market.

In a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the retailer said it planned to close 35 to 40 stores this year and open three. The company reported 1,392 operating stores at the start of 2024, down from 1,425 in the first quarter of 2023.

“In 2024, the U.S. economy has continued to face macroeconomic challenges including elevated inflation, which has adversely impacted the buying power of our customers,” the filing from Big Lots said.

The retailer, like many others, has grappled with declining sales amid rising prices and a downturn in consumer spending. According to the financial disclosure, sales dropped 10.2% between the first quarters of 2023 and 2024, equating to a loss of about $114.5 million.

The company also took on an additional $72.2 million, bringing the total from $501.6 million in the first quarter of 2023 to $573.8 million for the first quarter of this year. The company also said it had “substantial doubt” about the ability of the company to continue operation, leading to speculation of a potential bankruptcy filing.

The document did not disclose the locations at which stores would be closing. Big Lots did not immediately respond requests for comment and closing information.

Retailers battle bankruptcy

If Big Lots does end up filing for bankruptcy, it will be only one among a handful of prominent restaurant and retail chains that have done so since the pandemic, including Red Lobster, Rite Aid, Bed Bath & Beyond and Christmas Tree Shop.

Other retailers have announced rounds of location closures to cut “underperforming” locations. Hooters, Walgreens, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penny and even Disney Stores are among those that have shuttered stores across the nation since 2020.

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