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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Q & A
Operator
Operator

Thank you. Today's question and answer session will be conducted electronically. (Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from Anthony Chukumba with Loop Capital Markets.

Analyst
Anthony Chukumba

Good morning, and thank you for taking my question. I guess my question was on the furniture business. It did kind of positive, but it was low single digits, and it seems like that's really slowed down over the last few quarters, and I was just wondering what you attributed that to and what you can do to potentially change that trajectory. Thank you.

Executive
Lisa Bachmann

Good morning, Anthony. That's a fair question given our low single-digit comps from the last quarter, and I'll start by saying that we're very committed to this category and its growth potential, both from a long-term perspective and also from a short-term standpoint. We have a lot of great initiatives in place. I will tell you that Jennifer really has responded and loves the fashion and newness that we have delivered, both in our mattress assortment from Serta along with the upholstery recently within our Roadshow. So, we are acting swiftly to continue to deliver upon that newness for her.

I will tell you that over the long-term, there's many strategic initiatives that we're looking at. We have seen success, certainly, with our financing, and very meaningful success, and we believe that there's opportunity that will continue there. We're testing opportunities within our lease-to-purchase. Very recently, we offered Jennifer a $49 down payment, which was really successful for us, and we will continue to test other key transaction type items in the spring. And also, looking at our financing programs, including our Big Lots credit card, and the opportunities that may exist there.

Again, from a merchandising perspective, quality and newness continues to just be a real focus for us, and we will continue, as I said, to introduce newness because Jennifer is expecting that. You're going to see a lot coming from us from a marketing standpoint as well, beginning with better presentations and the way in which we're presenting the product in our digital and television, and really helping Jennifer understand how to decorate her home with our furniture.

E-commerce is also another great opportunity for us, and we've recently introduced supplier direct fulfillment in a great assortment of product -- more of an extension of what we're able to offer in our stores and we're also looking to introduce non-parcel in spring, again, giving us an opportunity to deliver more assortment to Jennifer than we're capable of doing today.

Executive
Tim Johnson

I think a couple of things, Anthony, I would add. From a stores perspective, Nick and his teams rolled out Furniture Sales Training 2.0 during the fall season. Clearly, our associates and store team leaders understand to win in their store, they have to win in furniture, so they've really rallied behind that. I would also point out that we're very encouraged by the results that we see in furniture in our Store of the Future stores, where we've pulled it