Big Lots has updated its business operations related to the impact of COVID-19. As a provider of everyday essentials, Big Lots said its stores remain open with a special emphasis on grocery, cleaning, pet, and health and wellness assortments.
The company said its overriding objective is to ensure the health and safety of its customers and associates, and it has implemented measures and procedures to protect their wellbeing. The company is also closely monitoring the rapidly changing environment caused by the pandemic and has a task force in place to evolve its health and safety protocols in light of new regulations, the advice of experts, insights from its helpline, and developing industry best practices.
Bruce Thorn, president and CEO of Big Lots, stated, “We want to serve our communities as long as possible during these uncertain times, but not at the risk of health and safety. Our stores offer vital products customers need, and we have more trucks on the road with deliveries to our stores in an effort to keep these assortments in-stock. We are postponing our Friends & Family event in April, which typically produces large crowds in our stores, and focusing on getting through this crisis. We know many are facing hard times and we’re committed to helping.”
Thorn added, “We’re expanding our workforce across the country to support our 1,400-plus store network and we have made it easier to join the Big Lots family. In addition, we’ve enhanced the compensation program for our associates, including a special discretionary payout for bonus eligible leaders in our stores, a temporary $2.00 per hour increase for all other associates working in our stores and distribution centers, and temporarily expanding the associate discount to 30%.”
The company has also implemented operational enhancements and changes including curbside pickup for orders placed online; encouraging senior citizens and those most vulnerable to the coronavirus to shop the first hour of every day; issuing new safety guidelines which establish clear expectations for social distancing; offering disinfectant at the shopping cart area; and routinely wiping down the equipment used at checkout and throughout the store.