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Big Lots Issues Update Related To COVID-19

Stores Remain Open As Provider Of Everyday Essentials

Company Takes Action To Protect and Assist Customers and Associates

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) today issued an update on business operations related to the impact of COVID-19. The company's 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. As a provider of everyday essentials, Big Lots stores remain open with special emphasis on grocery, cleaning, pet, and health and wellness assortments. The company is 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. 

Commenting on today's announcement, 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."

Mr. Thorn continued, "We're expanding our workforce across the country to support our 1400+ 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. Associates who are not feeling well are instructed to stay home and not report to work. The company will continue to monitor and adapt to the ever-changing environment to protect the health and welfare of its customers and associates.

About Big Lots, Inc.
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) is a discount retailer operating 1,404 BIG LOTS stores in 47 states with product assortments in the merchandise categories of Furniture, Seasonal, Soft Home, Food, Consumables, Hard Home, and Electronics, Toys & Accessories. The company's mission is to help people Live BIG and Save Lots. The company strives to be the BIG difference for a better life by delivering unmatched value to customers through surprise and delight, being a "best places to work" culture for associates, rewarding shareholders with consistent growth and top tier returns, and doing good in communities as the company does well. For more information about the company, visit www.biglots.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 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 the company believes the expectations expressed in forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of knowledge, forward-looking statements, by their nature, involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, any one or a combination of which could materially affect business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.

Forward-looking statements that the company makes 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, current economic and credit conditions, the cost of goods, the inability to successfully execute strategic initiatives, competitive pressures, economic pressures on customers and the company, the availability of brand name closeout merchandise, trade restrictions, freight costs, the risks discussed in the Risk Factors section of the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and other factors discussed from time to time in 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. The company undertakes 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 the company makes on related subjects in public announcements and SEC filings.

Big Lots, Inc. logo. (PRNewsfoto/Big Lots, Inc.)
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SOURCE Big Lots, Inc.