Consumer spending is very cautious right now as inflation continues to steadily increase.  People are cutting back and watching their spending closely. While consumers are concerned about their finances and savings they are spending less, businesses are feeling it. From local shops to the big players, they're all feeling the squeeze.

Over the past couple of months, we've seen what's happened to Red Lobster, we've learned that Family Dollar and Dollar Tree are in restructuring as some stores are being closed, and even behemoth Walmart has announced some store closures for 2024 on underperforming stores.

The latest big retailer to announce store closures is Big Lots.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the company announced it would be closing 35 to 40 stores by the end of 2024. The home goods discount retailer has around 1400 stores in the US. In the filing, company leadership says the reason for the loss and closings is because of economic pressures and inflation.

Big Lots President and CEO Bruce Thorn said last month, (KETK)

While we made substantial progress on improving our business operations in Q1, we missed our sales goals due largely to a continued pullback in consumer spending by our core customers, particularly in high ticket discretionary items. We remain focused on managing through the current economic cycle by controlling the controllables. As we move forward, we’re taking aggressive actions to drive positive comp sales growth in the latter part of the year and into 2025, and to maintain year-over-year gross margin rate improvements, all driven by progress on our five key actions."

At the time of the filing, Big Lots did not announce which 40 stores were being targeted to be closed. According to the company's website, among the 1400 stores nationwide, there are currently 116 stores in Texas, including:

  • Tyler (two locations)
  • Longview
  • Texarkana
  • Kilgore
  • Lufkin
  • Marshall
  • Mt. Pleasant
  • Nacogdoches
  • Paris
  • Terrell

The filing also stated that the company planned on opening three stores in 2024 despite reporting losing $205 million in the first quarter with overall sales of $1 billion which was a 10% decrease as compared to the same period last year. (SEC filing)

The discount retailer that started in 1967 plans on adding more 'extreme bargains' with hopes of enticing consumer spending once again.

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