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Big Lots Reports Pandemic Sales Bump

Big Lots Reports Pandemic Sales Bump
Retailers are reporting revenue gains as the outbreak continues

Big Lots says its sales have been growing in recent weeks even as the pandemic continues to take a toll on the national economy and changes shopping and consumption habits.

“Notwithstanding the cancellation of its chain wide 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,” the food retailer said Monday.

Big Lots gave no details about those increases in terms of percentages or dollars.

Like other retailers of all types – including grocers – Big Lots has offered higher pay for workers as they deal with pandemic risk and worried customers. The retailer on Monday 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.”

Indeed, Stater Bros., a food retailer based in California, recently extended its own $2-per-hour bump for its workers. Retailers are not only seeking to reward their hard work and compensate them more for the risks they are taking, but are also dealing with more demands for labor as this pandemic continues and most of the economy remains in a state of arrested development.

Big Lots is hardly the only retailer to enjoy sales gains during this time of social isolation, either. Recently, Target became the latest chain to earn a big revenue boost from the COVID-19 pandemic. For the quarter-to-date, the company has seen comparable-sales growth of more than 7%. Food and beverage and essentials were up 20%, hardlines increased more than 16%, home saw slight growth, and apparel and accessories decreased more than 20%.

Expect further bumps for e-commerce and more consumers, including food shoppers, increasingly rely on online and mobile orders along with curbside pickups and deliveries.


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