Big Lots to Close Wholesale Business

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Today, Big Lots announced that it would be closing its Big Lots Wholesale, Consolidated International, and Wisconsin Toy wholesale operations by the end of the 2013 fiscal year. The fiscal year ends Feb. 2. The company expects this will result in a $5 million to $8 million pre-tax charge during the third quarter as a result of the decision.

Big Lots noted this move followed its realization that a focus on retail operations is in the "best interests" of the company and its shareholders. As of the most recent SEC filings and earnings releases, the company did not disclose what percent of its income was derived from its wholesale operations. The wholesale business website notes it is "is a business-to-business exchange that provides top-quality merchandise at below-wholesale prices."

The company said that over the years, the wholesale business environment has become increasingly more competitive and sales and margin growth opportunities have deteriorated.

"The leadership team of the Company is working diligently and is deeply committed to delivering a comprehensive and detailed long-range strategic plan. As such, we are evaluating all aspects of our current operations and potential new business opportunities to chart a new course ... " said Big Lots President and CEO David Campisi in the company press release. "We believe a narrower focus and investing in new ways to enhance our relationship with the customer will provide greater value for our shareholders over the longer term." 

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