There was an announcement last month that the Canadian stores were coming up to expectations and were soon to be re-branded from "Liquidation World" to Big Lots. Shopping in Ontario last week while visiting relatives, we saw this was true. We visited one store in Wallaceburg and found it not only re-branded, but organized, well stocked, well staffed and very busy.
For those who think buying these stores was a foolish thing to do- look at the numbers. They bought Liquidation World in 2011 as a troubled chain with poor management that hadn't made a dollar in 5 years, and they STOLE it. Now when I say they stole it, I'm serious- they bought an 89 store chain for a total of 1.84 million dollars, or about $21,700 per store. They expected to lose money for a while and to invest a lot of cash as the stores were updated, inventory rebuilt and customer confidence restored. While that buy impacted Big Lot's profitability and share negatively price last year, it will soon be impacting it very positively.
These stores are turning the corner now, and their value is already many times the price paid. I'll bet they swing into profitability this quarter- if not, they will be very close. Look for the Canadian chain to have a very positive impact on the coming 4Q and conference call.