COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) is reporting third quarter retail sales for U.S. operations for the fiscal quarter ended October 29, 2011 of $1,102.2 million, an increase of 6.0% compared to $1,039.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2010. This result is consistent with our guidance issued on August 25, 2011. Comparable store sales for stores open at least two years at the beginning of the fiscal year increased 1.7% for the third quarter of fiscal 2011. Consistent with prior reporting practices, third quarter sales for our Canadian operations and our Wholesale operations will be announced along with our third quarter financial results on Thursday, December 1, 2011.
For the thirty-nine week year-to-date period ended October 29, 2011, retail sales from U.S. operations totaled $3,470.5 million, an increase of 2.3% compared to $3,393.5 million for the same period in fiscal 2010. Comparable store sales decreased 1.3% for the year-to-date period.
Commenting on sales for the quarter, Steve Fishman, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President stated, "We were encouraged by the improving trends in most of our major merchandise categories, positive early response to certain of our holiday strategies, and favorable results from our promotional friends and family event during the quarter. From a merchandising perspective, consumables was our strongest category with comps up in the high single digits as we continue to see positive customer response to our initiatives to restore momentum in this key category. Additionally, hardlines, electronics, furniture, and home also posted positive results for the quarter. Our stores are set for the holiday season and I am confident we are prepared to be aggressive and drive sales during the all-important fourth quarter."
Big Lots is North America's largest broadline closeout retailer. As of October 29, 2011, we operated 1,445 BIG LOTS stores in the 48 contiguous United States and 85 LIQUIDATION WORLD and LW stores in Canada. Wholesale operations are conducted through BIG LOTS WHOLESALE, CONSOLIDATED INTERNATIONAL, and WISCONSIN TOY and with online sales at www.biglotswholesale.com.
Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and such statements are intended to qualify for the protection of the safe harbor provided by the Act. The words "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "objective," "goal," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "will," "should," "may," "target," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook" and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. Similarly, descriptions of our objectives, strategies, plans, goals or targets are also forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to the expectations of management as to future occurrences and trends, including statements expressing optimism or pessimism about future operating results or events and projected sales, earnings, capital expenditures and business strategy. Forward-looking statements are based upon a number of assumptions concerning future conditions that may ultimately prove to be inaccurate. Forward-looking statements are and will be based upon management's then-current views and assumptions regarding future events and operating performance, and are applicable only as of the dates of such statements. Although we believe the expectations expressed in forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of our knowledge, forward-looking statements, by their nature, involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, any one or a combination of which could materially affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
Forward-looking statements that we make herein and in other reports and releases are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, the current economic and credit crisis, the cost of goods, our inability to successfully execute strategic initiatives, competitive pressures, economic pressures on our customers and us, the availability of brand name closeout merchandise, trade restrictions, freight costs, the risks discussed in the Risk Factors section of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and other factors discussed from time to time in our other filings with the SEC, including Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. This release should be read in conjunction with such filings, and you should consider all of these risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating forward-looking statements.
You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You are advised, however, to consult any further disclosures we make on related subjects in our public announcements and SEC filings.
SOURCE Big Lots, Inc.