COLUMBUS, Ohio — Big Lots Inc. aims to open more new stores this year than it did last year, with roughly a third of the openings earmarked for “A” locations.
Big Lots Inc. aims to open more new stores this year than it did last year, with roughly a third of the openings earmarked for “A” locations.
In reporting fiscal 2010 results last month, the broad-line closeout retailer said it plans 90 new stores in 2011, up from 80 in 2010. Charles Haubiel, executive vice president of legal and real estate, told analysts in a conference call that 25 to 30 of the new units would be in A-type locations, which offer stronger co-tenants (often in a power strip center), a higher average customer income or a higher population density. In 2010 the chain opened 33 A-location stores.
"The eight A locations opened as a test in 2009 continue to perform very well," Haubiel said, noting that the units averaged over $4 million in sales and $180 in sales per square foot. "We believe this level of performance could lead to very profitable growth going forward," he added.
Big Lots closed 43 stores in 2010, more than half of which were older units relocated to higher-traffic areas in better strip centers or stores too small for a full-size furniture department, according to Haubiel. The chain expects about 45 closures this year.
As of the end of fiscal 2010 Big Lots had 1,398 stores, a net gain of 37 from the year before.