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Big Lots merchandising chief Martin retires

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Closeout store operator Big Lots Inc. said Tuesday its chief merchandising officer is retiring.

John Martin, 62, will continue in his role, which also includes the executive vice president title, until a successor is named, and will act as adviser after that until May 2014.

Executive search firm SpencerStuart will lead a search of external candidates.

The move comes less than three months after Big Lots named David Campisi as its new CEO, replacing Steve Fishman.

Martin served as executive vice president of merchandising from 2003 to 2011, before serving as executive vice president for administration. He returned to merchandising in 2012.

Big Lots' results have been choppy lately. In its most recent quarter, its net income fell 21 percent, while revenue rose 2 percent to $1.31 billion. But revenue in stores open at least one year, a key retail metric, fell 2.5 percent, and the company lowered its full-year revenue forecast.

Martin said near term he is focused on 'fall and holiday strategies" as well as supporting his successor once he or she is identified.

Big Lots Inc. operates 1,510 of its namesake stores in the 48 states, three stores in Canada, and 76 Liquidation World and LW stores in Canada.

Shares were unchanged at $36.01 in late afternoon trading.