Who Owns Big Lots? (+ Other Common FAQs)

Big Lots is currently America’s largest closeout store, with over 1400 stores spread across 47 states in the United States. Over the years, the store has gained loyalty from millions of customers as a discount retailer.

However, if you don’t know much about Big Lots, you might be wondering what Big Lots is, what it’s known for, and how it stands out from similar closeout stores. If you’d like to learn more, keep reading!

Who Owns Big Lots In [currentyear]?

Big Lots is a public company in [currentyear]. The store’s ownership is distributed among the public shareholders through the free trade of shares of stock-on-stock exchanges. Initially, the company was owned by the founder, Sol Shenk, before it became a public company. Currently, the company is publicly traded as NYSE: BIG on the New York Stock Exchange.

If you want to know more about Big Lots, including its ownership, management, and much more, keep reading for more useful information!

Is Big Lots Privately Owned?

Big Lots is not a privately owned company, but a publicly owned company trading as NYSE: BIG on the New York Stock Exchange.

Since the company’s founding in 1967, Big Lots was privately owned by the founder Sol Shenk until 1985.

From 1985, Big Lots (then branded as Consolidated Stores Corporation) began trading on the American Stock Exchange as a public company.

The Consolidated Stores Corporation switched from the American Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange in 1986 and began trading under the symbol CNS.

When Consolidated Stores Corporation changed its name to Big Lots in 2001, the ticker symbol changed from CNS to BLI.

 IN 2006, Big Lots changed its New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol from BLI to BIG and started trading publicly as NYSE: BIG.

Who Runs Big Lots?

Employees run big Lots under the leadership of top executives. The top executives at Big Lots Inc. include the following:

  • Bruce K. Thorn- President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
  • Jonathan E. Ramsden – EVP, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer
  • Gurmeet Singh – Chief Technology Officer & Executive VP
  • Ronald A. Robins – Secretary, Executive VP & General Counsel
  • Jack Pestello – Chief Merchandising Officer & Executive VP

Who Is the CEO of Big Lots?

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Big Lots is Bruce K. Thorn, who has served as Big Lots’ CEO since October 2018.

He couples up as the President and Director at Big Lots Inc., and by December 2018, he had managed to gain himself an estimated net worth of at least $6.92 Million.

Over the past six years, Bruce has managed to own over 8,500 units of Big Lots Inc stock worth over $368,985.

Bruce Thorn has previously served other companies in top executive positions, which enabled him to gain expertise in the business sector.

His previous positions include the following:

  • President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Tailored Brands from 2015 to 2018
  • Executive Vice President of PetSmart from 2007 to 2015
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO) of LESCO, Inc. from 2002 to 2007
  • Led Global Engineering Services for Gap, Inc. from 2000 to 2002
  • Member of Executive committee for Cintas Corporation from 1995 to 2000

Who Owns Big Lots Stock?

Who Owns Big Lots Stock?

Big Lots stock is owned by shareholders categorized as mutual fund holders, other institutional stakeholders, and individual stakeholders.  

The top 10 stakeholders of Big Lots Inc. include the following:

  • BlackRock Fund Advisors- owns 16.24% stake with 4,958,764 shares valued at $223,392,318
  • The Vanguard Group, Inc.- owns 13.94% stake with 4,257,976 shares valued at $191,821,819            
  • LSV Asset Management- owns 6.21% stake with 1,896,920 shares valued at $85,456,246            
  • Dimensional Fund Advisors LP- owns 6.10% stake with 1,863,114 shares valued at $83,933,286
  • Fidelity Management & Research Co.- owns 5.70% stake with 1,741,753 shares valued at $78,465,973
  • SSgA Funds Management, Inc.- owns 4.25% stake with 1,298,564 shares valued at $58,500,308
  • Northern Trust Investments, Inc.- owns 1.89% stake with 577,305 shares valued at $26,007,590            
  • Geode Capital Management LLC- owns 1.81% stake with 552,143 shares valued at $24,874,042
  • Mellon Investments Corp.- owns 1.81% stake with 551,584 shares valued at $24,848,859            
  • Columbia Management Investment Ad- owns 1.74% stake with 530,631 shares valued at $23,904,927    

Where Is Big Lots’ Corporate Headquarters?

Big Lots’ Corporate headquarters is located in Columbus, Ohio, United States. The physical address is as follows:

4900 E. Dublin Granville Road

Columbus, OH 43081-7651

Phone: (614) 278-6800

Who Is Sol Shenk?

Sol Shenk is the founder of Consolidated Stores Corporation, currently known as the Big Lots.

As a merchandiser, he built a single surplus outlet in Columbus, Ohio, which later progressed into an empire of several stores operating as the Consolidated Stores Corporation.

Sol Shenk died in 1994 at the age of 83 and is considered one of the true visionaries in the discount retail industry.

Who Owns Odd Lots?

Odd Lots was owned by Sol Shenk and was opened as the first closeout store under the Consolidated Stores Corporation.

However, due to the company’s rebranding, Odd Lots, among other stores under Consolidated Stores Corporation, started operating as Big Lots in 2001.

Therefore, currently, all Odd Lots stores operate as Big Lots, which is publicly owned.

If you want to know more, you can also read our posts on what is Big Lots, are Big Lots going out of business, and does Big Lots have furniture sales.


Big Lots is a publicly owned company with its ownership distributed among shareholders through the free trade of shares of stock-on-stock exchanges.

The company shifted from being a private company in 1985 and is currently trading as NYSE: BIG in the New York Stock Exchange.

Photo of author

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.

Leave a Comment