Big Lots is getting a new technology chief.
The discounter named Gurmeet Singh as executive VP, chief technology officer, effective July 12, 2021. He succeeds Stew Wenerstrom, who will be officially retiring in October following a transition period.
Singh joins Big Lots from the Al Futtaim Group in Dubai, where he was the group chief digital officer, leading all technology, data and digital efforts for the conglomerate. Previously he served as executive VP, chief digital, information and marketing officer at 7-Eleven. He also held similar roles at CapitalOne, Intuit Inc. and FedEx.
Singh joins Big Lots on the heels of a strong first quarter for the chain. Sales rose 13% to $1.626 billion, ahead of analysts' expectations for $1.544 billion. Online sales grew 30%, and same-store sales increased 13%.
"We're really excited to welcome Gurmeet to Big Lots and to my staff," said Bruce Thorn, president and CEO of Big Lots. "Gurmeet is a proven transformation leader in the retail technology space. I am confident that Gurmeet will help us continue to innovate and grow our technology platform to even better serve our customer when, where and how she wants to shop."
"As a self-professed technology enthusiast with a passion for innovation and customer experience, I couldn't be happier to join the Big Lots team at this point in its omnichannel journey," said Singh. "I look forward to leading the already strong Big Lots technology team."
Thorn added, "As much as we are looking forward to having Gurmeet join our team, we need to acknowledge Stew's more than 18 years of fantastic service to Big Lots. Before he retires in October, Stew will be able to help onboard Gurmeet and give him a huge leg up in his transition. Even after his retirement, Stew will continue to be a part of the Big Lots family, and we will miss him."
[Read More: Big Lots opens full assortment to same-day delivery]
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots operates 1,414 stores in 47 states.