What Is Big Lots? (Everything You Need to Know)

Big Lots is your one-stop-shop if looking for exquisite furniture, fitness essentials, clothing, groceries, and frozen foods.

With the varying product selection and highly competitive prices, one might be interested in finding out what kind of enterprise Big Lots is. Read on and find out what I discovered on the matter!

What Is Big Lots In 2024?

Big Lots is a discount closeout retailer with over 1400 stores across 47 states in the US in 2024. The store sells a wide variety of product assortment in different merchandise categories at competitive prices. Moreover, these categories include furniture, mattresses, home décor, storage items, patio and garden items, bed and bath essentials, clothing, toys, and groceries.

If you want to find out more about Big Lots, including its identity as a company, keep reading for more useful facts and information!

What Exactly Is Big Lots?

Big Lots is a closeout retailer, with headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, United States.

The company specializes in selling essential household goods at highly competitive prices.

The retail company was founded by Sol A. Shenk in 1967, when it previously operated as Consolidated Stores Corporation.

Over the years, the company operated under different brand names, including Odd Lots, Big Lots, Mac Frugal’s Bargains, and Pick N’ Save.

Eventually, in 2001, the company decided to use Big Lots as the national brand for all its stores.

Previously, the company had operations in the US and Canada until 2014, when it decided to exit the Canadian market and concentrate on the domestic market.

As of now, the store is widely known for offering a wide variety of household essentials with occasional promotions and offers attached to the items.

The company purchases closeout items wholesale and sells them at discounted prices as a closeout retailer.

What Kind of Store Are Big Lots?

Big Lots is among America’s largest closeout retailers, specializing in household needs.

The store sells household merchandise that helps in improving living spaces and personalizing households.

Moreover, the company sells its extensive range of merchandise through its online and brick-and-mortar stores, operating in America’s retail industry.

Over the years, the company’s e-commerce platform has expanded its capabilities via BOPIS, Instacart, curbside pickup, and Big Lots NOW with same-day delivery.

As a closeout retail store, Big Lots purchases closeout items.

For instance, the store purchases items that are leftovers, discounted, or unwanted products from other vendors from across the world.

Hence, products from the stores are often moderately priced, compared to products from stores with the same offerings at Big Lots. 

In fact, the discount closeout retailer claims to set prices at 70% less than traditional retailers, and 20%-40% lower than other discount retailers.

The store does not require membership for customers to shop but offers a loyalty and rewards program called “Big Rewards” that requires customers to sign up at zero charges.

Big Lots’ main competitors include Target, Walmart, Target, Costco, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.

Are Big Lots a Public Company?

Is Big Lots a Public Company?

Big Lots is a public retailing company that has been trading as NYSE: BIG on the New York Stock Exchange from 2006 to the present. Previously, the company traded as NYSE: BLI.

Thus, the company’s ownership is distributed among the shareholders through free trade of shares of stock-on-stock exchanges.

Being a publicly-traded company, Big Lots shareholders claim part of the corporation’s profits and assets.

Furthermore, since the store is a public company, Big Lots regularly shares its business and financial information with the public.

Big Lots has to file its earnings reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make this information public.

What Is Big Lots Known For?

Big Lots is largely known for its closeout buys and delivering the company’s mission by offering customers unexpected prices, brands, and items.

The company offers an inconsistent selection of brands and items and often takes pride in offering special deals and surprises down every aisle.

Additionally, customers often visit the store searching for unique and quality products at fair prices.

This way, they get to save money even when they are on a tight budget.

Is Big Lots Considered a Grocery Store?

Although Big Lots sells groceries as part of its merchandise selection, Big Lots is not considered a grocery store.

The store is not considered a grocery store since the groceries do not form a major part of the store’s merchandise selection.

Do Big Lots Sell Good Products?

Big Lots sells a lot of good products, as the store offers customers a wide variety of merchandise, providing ever-changing stock that elevates customers’ shopping experience.

Moreover, the store often provides sales items and regularly announces if they have something big in stock.

The good stuff you can get at Big Lots includes coffee, Bob’s Red Mill goods, seasonal items, furniture, and mattresses, among other items from different categories.

Why Is Big Lots Called Big Lots?

Big Lots is currently called Big Lots because the parent company decided to use the brand name as an identity of all stores operating under the former name Consolidated International.

Since Consolidated International operated under several brand names, the company decided to single out Big Lots due to its popularity and use it to the company’s advantage.

Where Does Big Lots Get Its Merchandise From?

Since Big Lots is a closeout store, it gets a large percentage of its merchandise from discontinued products and after-season overstock from other retailers and manufacturers.

In other instances, the retailers or manufacturers sell products to Big Lots, because they have too much inventory or are going out of business.

Is Big Lots and Kmart the Same?

Big Lots and Kmart are not the same.

Big Lots operates its independent stores across several states in the US, while Kmart operates as a Transform SR Brands LLC subsidiary.

Additionally, Big Lots is recognized as a closeout retailer, while Kmart is an American big-box department store chain with headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

To know more, you can also read our posts on whether or not Big Lots has furniture sales, where are Big Lots stores, and is Big Lots furniture good.


Big Lots is an American closeout retailer that offers household items at competitive prices.

The store purchases closeout items from other retailers and manufacturers and sells them at prices below discount retailers and other traditional retailers.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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