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Jennifer in need of cheer at Big Lots


Big Lots hypothetical core customer Jennifer isn’t feeling so cheerful this holiday season as the nation’s leading closeout retailer is eyeing a low single digit fourth quarter comp increase.

The company said its expects a low single digit fourth quarter increase after reporting a third quarter 1.4 percent comp increase and loss from continuing operations within a previously forecast range. The company said it had a loss from continuing operations of $3.1 million, or six cents a share, compared to $1.9 million, or three cents a share, the prior year. Total company sales were essentially flat at slightly more than $1.1 billion.

Big Lots president and CEO David Campisi said he was pleased with the company’s results and same store sales performance.

“For the third consecutive quarter, our comps were positive as we continue to gain traction and build sales consistency in our business,” Campisi said. “Jennifer, our core customer, is responding positively to our improved merchandising strategies like the recent expansion of our food category, our furniture lease-to-purchase program, and our emphasis on the quality, brand, fashion, and value components of our assortments."

Despite the absence of robust top line growth, Big Lots is meeting and exceeding its profit objectives. The company increased the upper end of its guidance range for the fourth quarter to $1.80 a share from $1.76 a share previously.

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