Big Lots cuts outlook; to acquire Canada’s Liquidation World

Columbus, Ohio — Big Lots on Thursday trimmed its expectations for the year amid a fall in first-quarter earnings. In a separate statement, Big Lots said it signed an agreement to buy the Canadian closeout retail chain Liquidation World.

Based in Brantford, Ontario, Liquidation World operates 92 stores in Canada. It is Big Lots’ first expansion outside of the United States

Big Lots posted earnings of $52.5 million for the period ended April 30, compared with $55.9 million a year earlier.

Net sales slipped 0.6% to about $1.23 billion from nearly $1.24 billion. Same-store sales fell 3.6%.

Big Lots shifted its product mix toward lower margin items early this year, which cut its gross margin rate during the quarter by 30 points. The company also cited rising costs for diesel fuel and freight costs.