Big Lots’ April comp sales positive; doing employee health screenings via app
Big Lots Inc. said it continues to exceed its sales expectations as its stores remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The discounter also outlined increased safety protocols that include daily health screenings for employees via a new company-developed app.
Big Lots on Monday said it has achieved positive month-to-date same-store sales 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, despite the cancellation of a weekend “friends and family event” in early April and the shuttering of all its stores on Easter.
Amid the strong demand, Big Lots is extending the $2 hourly increase for hourly store and DC workers through May and also extending its 30% employee discount. And to ensure a safe environment for employees and customers, the retailer has added new protocols including:
• Daily health screenings for in-store and DC employees completed prior to commencing a shift, using a new company-developed app that includes a brief questionnaire on the associate's current health and possible exposure to COVID-19, and a self-administered temperature check;
• Significantly expanding the availability of personal protective equipment for associates, including gloves and masks, particularly in high risk areas;
• Installing protective shields between our customers and cashiers at checkout stands in all stores; and
• Limiting store occupancy based on the size of the store and encouraging early shopping for seniors and those most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
"I could not be prouder of how our team, at every level, has responded to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 crisis,” stated Bruce Thorn, president and CEO of Big Lots. “Providing a safe and healthy environment in our stores and distribution centers has been our number one priority. That in turn has enabled us to maintain business continuity and support our customers through these challenging times, resulting in positive quarter-to-date comps in-store as well as strong growth online.”
Big Lots recently launched a commercial, titled "Big Responsibility," celebrating its store associates and highlighting its role as an essential retailer. Big Lots selected a cover of “Put A little Love in Your Heart” by singer/songwriter duo Dominique & Redah to feature in the spot. The artists will donate 25% of the income earned from the song to healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19. The 30-second ad will run through May 12 on select cable and local TV stations across the country, as well as programmatic video, and can be viewed here.