Consolidated Stores Corporation (Big Lots) Reports March Retail Sales of $218.9 Million as Comparable Sales Decrease 3.7%

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Consolidated Stores Corporation

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 12 /PRNewswire/ --
 Consolidated Stores Corporation (NYSE:   CNS) today reported retail sales for
 the four weeks ended March 31, 2001, were $218.9 million compared to retail
 sales of $219.0 million for the four week fiscal period of March 2000.  Year
 to date and quarter to date retail sales for the eight weeks ended increased
 5.2% to $448.0 million, compared to $425.8 million for the same period last
 year.  Comparable store sales for all stores open two years at the beginning
 of the fiscal year decreased 3.7% for the month, and decreased 0.9% for the
 quarter to date.  On a comparable store basis, the value of the average
 customer basket increased approximately 0.4% in March and 1.2% quarter to date
 while the number of customer transactions declined 4.1% and 2.1% respectively.
 Retail sales statistics are as follows:
 
                                                                Comparable
                        Retail Sales ($ in millions)           Store Sales
                        2001      2000       Change         2001        2000
 
     March            $218.9    $219.0           --         -3.7%        5.4%
     Quarter to Date  $448.0    $425.8          5.2%        -0.9%        7.2%
     Year to Date     $448.0    $425.8          5.2%        -0.9%        7.2%
 
     Commenting on the sales results, Michael J. Potter, Chairman and Chief
 Executive Officer stated, "March proved to be a disappointing month as
 inclement weather in the first half of the month and soft business on the west
 coast contributed to our sales shortfall.  The planned removal of one circular
 from the March advertising calendar without the benefit of incremental
 television advertising also contributed to the decline in customer traffic and
 comparable store sales.  Our new promotional strategy of reducing the number
 of circulars and shifting the media investment to increased television
 exposure is expected to reduce near-term comparable customer counts while
 increasing comparable customer counts in the second half of the year."
     Mr. Potter added, "As we announced last month, we will measure the success
 of our key long-term strategic initiatives through our ability to increase
 customer traffic and transactions.  While we were disappointed with the
 decline in customers in March, we are keenly aware that the benefits from the
 strategic initiatives will take time to develop and that the focus and
 execution of these broad based initiatives are key to the future success of
 the business."
     Mr. Potter concluded, "We are encouraged that through the first ten days
 of April's five-week fiscal period, warmer weather across the country and a
 strong response to our seasonal offering have helped reverse March's poor
 sales trend.  Sales are on plan month-to-date as we target our planned
 mid-single digit April comparable store sales."
 
     Consolidated Stores Corporation (NYSE:   CNS) is the nation's largest
 broadline closeout retailer.  On March 1, 2001, the Company announced that it
 will change its store names nationally to Big Lots(R).  The Company also
 announced it is planning to change its corporate name from Consolidated Stores
 Corporation to Big Lots, Inc., pending approval by the Company's shareholders
 at its May 15 meeting.
     The company operates a total of 1,297 closeout stores operating as BIG
 LOTS, BIG LOTS FURNITURE, ODD LOTS, PIC 'N' SAVE and MAC FRUGAL'S
 BARGAINS*CLOSE-OUTS.  Wholesale operations are conducted through Consolidated
 International and Wisconsin Toy.                                   The Company's
 website is located at
 www.biglots.com .  Investors can monitor the progress of company sales by
 calling (614) 870-2095.
 
     Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
     The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act") provides
 a "safe harbor" for forward-looking statements to encourage companies to
 provide prospective information, so long as those statements are identified as
 forward-looking and are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements
 identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those discussed in the statement.  The Company wishes to take
 advantage of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Act.
     Statements, other than those based on historical facts, which address
 activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may
 occur in the future are forward-looking statements which are based upon a
 number of assumptions concerning future conditions that may ultimately prove
 to be inaccurate.  Actual events and results may materially differ from
 anticipated results described in such statements.  The Company's ability to
 achieve such results is subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including,
 but not limited to, sourcing and purchasing merchandise, economic and weather
 conditions which affect buying patterns of the Company's customers, changes in
 consumer spending and consumer debt levels, the Company's ability to
 anticipate buying patterns and implement appropriate inventory strategies,
 continued availability of capital and financing, competitive factors and
 pricing pressures, and other risks described from time to time in the
 Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Consequently,
 all of the forward-looking statements are qualified by these cautionary
 statements and there can be no assurance that the results or developments
 anticipated by the Company will be realized or that they will have the
 expected effects on the Company or its business or operations.
     Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
 statements, which speak only as of the date thereof.  The Company undertakes
 no obligation to publicly release any revisions to the forward-looking
 statements contained in this release, or to update them to reflect events or
 circumstances occurring after the date of this release, or to reflect the
 occurrence of unanticipated events.
 
 

SOURCE Consolidated Stores Corporation
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 12 /PRNewswire/ --
 Consolidated Stores Corporation (NYSE:   CNS) today reported retail sales for
 the four weeks ended March 31, 2001, were $218.9 million compared to retail
 sales of $219.0 million for the four week fiscal period of March 2000.  Year
 to date and quarter to date retail sales for the eight weeks ended increased
 5.2% to $448.0 million, compared to $425.8 million for the same period last
 year.  Comparable store sales for all stores open two years at the beginning
 of the fiscal year decreased 3.7% for the month, and decreased 0.9% for the
 quarter to date.  On a comparable store basis, the value of the average
 customer basket increased approximately 0.4% in March and 1.2% quarter to date
 while the number of customer transactions declined 4.1% and 2.1% respectively.
 Retail sales statistics are as follows:
 
                                                                Comparable
                        Retail Sales ($ in millions)           Store Sales
                        2001      2000       Change         2001        2000
 
     March            $218.9    $219.0           --         -3.7%        5.4%
     Quarter to Date  $448.0    $425.8          5.2%        -0.9%        7.2%
     Year to Date     $448.0    $425.8          5.2%        -0.9%        7.2%
 
     Commenting on the sales results, Michael J. Potter, Chairman and Chief
 Executive Officer stated, "March proved to be a disappointing month as
 inclement weather in the first half of the month and soft business on the west
 coast contributed to our sales shortfall.  The planned removal of one circular
 from the March advertising calendar without the benefit of incremental
 television advertising also contributed to the decline in customer traffic and
 comparable store sales.  Our new promotional strategy of reducing the number
 of circulars and shifting the media investment to increased television
 exposure is expected to reduce near-term comparable customer counts while
 increasing comparable customer counts in the second half of the year."
     Mr. Potter added, "As we announced last month, we will measure the success
 of our key long-term strategic initiatives through our ability to increase
 customer traffic and transactions.  While we were disappointed with the
 decline in customers in March, we are keenly aware that the benefits from the
 strategic initiatives will take time to develop and that the focus and
 execution of these broad based initiatives are key to the future success of
 the business."
     Mr. Potter concluded, "We are encouraged that through the first ten days
 of April's five-week fiscal period, warmer weather across the country and a
 strong response to our seasonal offering have helped reverse March's poor
 sales trend.  Sales are on plan month-to-date as we target our planned
 mid-single digit April comparable store sales."
 
     Consolidated Stores Corporation (NYSE:   CNS) is the nation's largest
 broadline closeout retailer.  On March 1, 2001, the Company announced that it
 will change its store names nationally to Big Lots(R).  The Company also
 announced it is planning to change its corporate name from Consolidated Stores
 Corporation to Big Lots, Inc., pending approval by the Company's shareholders
 at its May 15 meeting.
     The company operates a total of 1,297 closeout stores operating as BIG
 LOTS, BIG LOTS FURNITURE, ODD LOTS, PIC 'N' SAVE and MAC FRUGAL'S
 BARGAINS*CLOSE-OUTS.  Wholesale operations are conducted through Consolidated
 International and Wisconsin Toy.                                   The Company's
 website is located at
 www.biglots.com .  Investors can monitor the progress of company sales by
 calling (614) 870-2095.
 
     Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
     The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act") provides
 a "safe harbor" for forward-looking statements to encourage companies to
 provide prospective information, so long as those statements are identified as
 forward-looking and are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements
 identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those discussed in the statement.  The Company wishes to take
 advantage of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Act.
     Statements, other than those based on historical facts, which address
 activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may
 occur in the future are forward-looking statements which are based upon a
 number of assumptions concerning future conditions that may ultimately prove
 to be inaccurate.  Actual events and results may materially differ from
 anticipated results described in such statements.  The Company's ability to
 achieve such results is subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including,
 but not limited to, sourcing and purchasing merchandise, economic and weather
 conditions which affect buying patterns of the Company's customers, changes in
 consumer spending and consumer debt levels, the Company's ability to
 anticipate buying patterns and implement appropriate inventory strategies,
 continued availability of capital and financing, competitive factors and
 pricing pressures, and other risks described from time to time in the
 Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Consequently,
 all of the forward-looking statements are qualified by these cautionary
 statements and there can be no assurance that the results or developments
 anticipated by the Company will be realized or that they will have the
 expected effects on the Company or its business or operations.
     Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
 statements, which speak only as of the date thereof.  The Company undertakes
 no obligation to publicly release any revisions to the forward-looking
 statements contained in this release, or to update them to reflect events or
 circumstances occurring after the date of this release, or to reflect the
 occurrence of unanticipated events.
 
 SOURCE  Consolidated Stores Corporation