BIG Selling Lots

Tyler Durden's picture


If there was ever a sign that our economy, from the bottom-up, is running on fumes, it was Big Lots' dismal earnings and even more dismal outlook. The discounter is now down 21% back to 12 month lows...

BIG Drops...


Chart: Bloomberg

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Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:27 | 2730191 GetZeeGold
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I don't need a LOT....just a little.


Blame it on piss poor marketing.


Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:55 | 2730292 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

It's obvious you've never set foot in a Big Lots store. You don't buy big lots of stuff in a Big Lots store. They buy deeply discounted big lots of stuff and resale it in their store. After 4 years of buying out the remaining stock of bankrupt retailers, Big Lots is beginning to run out of this source for restocking their stores. They are down to stocking their stores with products that all the other retailers also use so they have the same products at the same prices everyone else has. With gas so high people simply will not drive even one extra mile to purchase stuff in a Big Lots store.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:14 | 2730361 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

You're right on target. They are stocking their 'house brand' items much more and prices have been climbing steadily. That stuff equals WallyWorld pricing so why make an extra trip? The close out stuff they used to stock is now quite skimpy and looks like something the big box stores were tossing in the dumpster. It's now like shopping the clearance aisle at Target or WallyWorld, you find the occasional gem but that's not too often. I shop there as it's on the way in to the bank and grocery store or I'd never go in. I never used to buy grocery goods there at all but now they tend to pick up lots of 'boutique' food items or items that are astronomical in the grocery stores like Bob's Red Mill flours/cereals.  That's what you'd expect to find; name-brand items at a discount to retail not a bunch of relabled generic soap and pots/pan. I think Big Lots, Dollar General, and Save-a-Lot should merge and form an ultra-bargain chain by saving on so many single store costs. Might keep WallyWorld honest...

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 12:35 | 2730708 hannah
hannah's picture

most of the prices at biglots are the same as every other local store so it isnt a discounter any longer. just like tjmax 'sells' a butload of high priced clothing.

what i love is when the idiots on cnbc compare a 'dollar store' to dollar general which isnt a dollar store. it just has dollar in its name.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:59 | 2730298 ArkansasAngie
ArkansasAngie's picture

Horse manure
Marketing ain't got nothing to do with it
This is real evidence of rubber hitting the road. Actually we may a have progressed to skin getting rubbed off with it

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:43 | 2730467 Son of Loki
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'Blame it on Bush.'

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:28 | 2730193 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Bernanke is still waiting for some bad data to announce the QE he already did.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:30 | 2730201 Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

Gold doesn't care any more whether or not He announces it.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:30 | 2730202 Jason T
Jason T's picture

that store is a disgrace..

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:44 | 2730235 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

I gotta disagree. You have to check it constantly. It's like fishing.
Each store is kinda different as well.

Great items show up randomly. Amazingly good stuff sometimes.
If you know what quality stuff looks like, you'll come back with gold on your trips there.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:01 | 2730315 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

I found high quality ear buds that typically cost over $20 for $3 in my Local Big Lots store. I purchased 1 set just to try them out. Later that day I went back and purchased a life time supply.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:33 | 2730206 ian807
ian807's picture

Might actually be a good sign. People don't need to buy extra cheap factory seconds or marketing mistakes.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:52 | 2730277 TrumpXVI
TrumpXVI's picture


What's needed is context.

A trip to WMT stats shows that Walmart's earnings have been on an up trend for the past ten years.

My take: the bottom rung consumer is flat on his back and down for the count.  The middle class consumer is middle class no longer.   (Walmart is scavenging from former middle class stalwarts like Sears, Macy's, etc.)

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:55 | 2730291 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

We are all headed for the wrong end of a sharecropping contract.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:36 | 2730439 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

WM is getting an ever-increasing share of their revenue from groceries, with some stores having it as their main source.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:37 | 2730216 ThunderingTurd
ThunderingTurd's picture

Energy and food costs are screaming.  This is the real issue!  Nothing more nothing less. 

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 14:12 | 2731124 Overfed
Overfed's picture

What better way to keep the plebes from accumulating any kind of wealth? The price for the shit you need is going ballistic, while the price for luxury items (except cars) is stagnant or even falling. Biflation.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:37 | 2730219 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Yep, Benny Bernanke and the Fed have been doing QE and we still seeing layoffs again. With all the printed money you would have expected a much bigger pop.

The problem is debt saturation and baby-boomers trying to makeupo for retirement savings they don't have.


The number of people drowning in school loans is amazing as well.

Benanke's own son has over $400k of school loans. Did Bernanke tell him he's going to trash the dollar so don't worry about school loans?


Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:51 | 2730272 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

"Bernanke's own son has over $400k of school loans."

 As least his grandson will get to study about this time period in history and learn what a colossal buffoon the Great Chairsatan was...

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:38 | 2730442 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Nah, the kid will get a cushy job that either allows them to be forgiven, or he'll be rich enough to comfortably pay them back.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:43 | 2730229 Hype Alert
Hype Alert's picture

Maybe the marginal buyer has moved back up the food chain?  [/sarc]


Or maybe spending 5% less to buy some piece of junk has lost its appeal when you don't need it in the first place.  Or maybe they just can't afford it.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:41 | 2730455 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I'm of the opinion that the world is well saturated with all the thingamajigs needed. The next step is their redistribution to those who value them more.

Garage Sale World is coming.

Got junk?

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:48 | 2730258 Jim B
Jim B's picture

Kind of a bubblie looking chart, looks like it WAS a momentum play....

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:53 | 2730286 youngman
youngman's picture

Buy your airline tix today....they are going up......meat too...your gas already is...

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:54 | 2730289 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Must mean that the low end is doing better and stepping up a level to Walmart. After all if you listen to the MSM the economy is really starting to take off. Prosperity for everybody.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:47 | 2730482 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

"Never been a better time to buy a house."


Despite that, I'll wait until house prices correct another 20% as Shiller (and my own first hand 'on the ground' shows) predicts.

Thank you.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 10:56 | 2730294 vote_libertaria...
vote_libertarian_party's picture

That may be store specific.  Of all of the deep discount stores in our area Big Lots is the dirtiest/messiest store.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:10 | 2730350 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

My local Big Lots store is clean, orderly, and maintains well stocked shelves of everyday necessities much like a General Dollar store. It's within walking distance of a dense residential area so it has a steady flow of customers. 

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:39 | 2730449 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

My stacks of silver look 3% better today!

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:09 | 2730347 adr
adr's picture

Big Lots is being replaced by Five Below as the new momo stock play. Judging by the number of new Five Below stores going up in my area, this new stock scam can have some legs.

If you want absolute crap merchandise, head to Five Below. Even though I do think they have Playstation games for $1, that would be PS1 games.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:15 | 2730368 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

i love $5 Below......Keeps my kids out of the mall and Toys are Us and for $10 a week i feel like a big winner......never mind, that they never use anything that they buy in the fucking store for more than 48 hours

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:51 | 2730498 i love cholas
i love cholas's picture

Big Lots is a dump and every time I go in there the inventory looks like it was picked from the Target dumpster in the middle of the night. No thanks.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 12:35 | 2730710 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Tylers being permabearish as usual, when this is actually bullish news, but of course you'll never hear that on ZH. Discount retailers and dollar stores are hurting because the Wealth EffectTM - from this summer's phenomenal stock market performance - is driving so many of their former customers to the pricier upscale boutiques, department stores, and the Apple Store. The market for cheap retail goods has evaporated, retailers like Big Lots need to face this inconvenient truth and retool their businesses to serve a wealthier and more discerning clientele. Thanks to the brilliant maneuvers of the Fed under Ben Bernanke this past year, the US consumer is back, baby! The analysts are making fools of themselves with their abysmal earnings forecasts, you can't fight the Fed.

//How's my MDB/Robotard/CNBC impression???

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 12:37 | 2730718 walküre
walküre's picture

GES Guess Inc. down over 20% as well.

Cheap, 2nd hand or dirty has got nothing to do with it.




Thu, 08/23/2012 - 13:01 | 2730817 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Wrong.  Big Lots success is an indicator of high friction, inefficiency and poor planning by retailers and manufacturers.  Big Lots flourishing on the other hand would be an indicator of economic decline.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 14:01 | 2731071 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

So, XRT down significantly so far today = retail is in great shape then?

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 16:38 | 2731626 Bagbalm
Bagbalm's picture

Big lots near my house has crap and is not kept stocked and organized. The one over in the bad part of town in Pontiac is much better.

I buy plastic bags, detergent, bleach and occasional tea and canned goods. Shower curtains and some hardware items. The flow of canned goods has slowed with less variety.

Fri, 08/24/2012 - 00:19 | 2732684 Blue Horshoe Lo...
Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

Big Lots is have a clearance sale on Big Lots stock this weekend!!!!!!

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