Big Lots to try alcohol to stimulate food sales (2024)

Big Lots is hoping to boost its sales of groceries by adding alcohol to the mix.

While the Columbus-based closeout retailer has long offered beer and wine at some stores, in particular its California outlets, the company recently applied for liquor licenses on behalf of six of its 20 Big Lots stores in central Ohio.

The stores are at 5419 Roberts Rd., 1245 Polaris Parkway and 2855 Olentangy River Rd. in Columbus; 6569 Sawmill Rd. in Dublin; 3961 Hoover Rd. in Grove City; and 1900 Brice Rd. in Reynoldsburg.

The move would help Big Lots address one of the few areas in which sales have lagged recently: the grocery aisle.

During the company's fourth-quarter report to investors in early March, CEO Steve Fishman told analysts that the company was looking for ways to improve sales in its grocery business, known in the industry as consumables.

"On our last call, I indicated to you that I believe we were not executing up to our full potential and that we were working quickly to get this business back on track," Fishman told analysts.

"There's probably seven or eight initiatives that we're working really aggressively on in consumables to get that business going," Fishman said.

Big Lots officials would not comment about the alcohol sales beyond confirming that "select stores" will offer beer and wine.

The chain also hopes to add alcoholic products elsewhere in the state, having also applied for liquor licenses in stores in the Cleveland and Cincinnati areas, among others.

In expanding to offer liquor at more stores, Big Lots joins such discount outlets in Ohio as Walmart, Target, Kmart and Dollar General, which have also recently applied for state licenses to sell alcohol.

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Big Lots to try alcohol to stimulate food sales (2024)


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