Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Mar 09, 2018 • 08:00 am ET

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Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Executive
Lisa Bachmann

good quarter. Our merchandising assortments are winning through the disciplines of QBFV or quality, brand, fashion and value. And the team is doing a great job coordinating design styles, and color palettes across the store. Seasonal was up low single-digits. Michelle, Steve, and the entire team did a nice job improving taste levels in our assortments for Q4, with elevated quality and value statements and Christmas trim, and Jennifer continues to find this honorable category a destination when shopping.

Furniture was also up low single-digits on top of the 5% increase last year, with mattresses being the best performer in the quarter. Jennifer continues to respond to newness as evidenced by the mattress' performance, strong sell-through in our roadshow upholstery offering and the rustic farm house look in RTA and casegoods. Robert and the team continued to move swiftly to deliver newness and you will see this more as we move through the spring season.

Consumables was slightly positive for the quarter as our branded expansion of OTC product and the strength of health and beauty was partially offset by softness in other areas of the business resulting from the timing of closeouts. Steven and the team have seen success with new expanded programs of branded merchandize as we continued to attempt to decrease our reliance on closeouts.

Hard Home was flat for the second consecutive quarter encouraging results from the team considering this has been consistently losing space to ownable categories as part of our edit to amplify. Food was down slightly for the quarter with growth in DST and specialty foods for holiday offset by the balance of the food department. Jennifer enjoyed our holiday food and candy assortments that Debbie and the team created and our stores executed very well from a presentation perspective. And finally, electronics, toys, and accessories was down to last year which was planned as this business has also consistently reduced or donated space to our ownable and winnable categories.

From a marketing perspective, we completed a successful relaunch of our rewards program in Q4. Big Rewards as it is now called went to all stores and online in early November and was very well received by Jennifer with enrollment in sales increasing throughout the quarter. Congratulations to the entire cross-functional KRA team involved in this refresh.

In addition, we recently welcomed the newest member of our executive leadership team. Steve Haffer joined the Big Lots family as our Chief Customer Officer. His background with extensive experience in e-commerce and customer engagement and acquisition will be instrumental as we strategize to grow our business. In addition, we're looking forward to his leadership as we reposition the Big Lots brand as a new kind of community retailer which is targeted for an introduction this spring. Serve Big Save Lots will be central to our communications on television through digital channels and in-store messaging as we look to serve alongside Jennifer.

And finally, our team continues to roll out the store of the future which