Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Dec 07, 2018 • 08:00 am ET


Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Big Lots' Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call. This call is being recorded. All lines will be muted until the question-and-answer portion of the call. (Operator Instructions)

At this time, I would like to introduce today's first speaker, Andy Regrut, VP of IR.

Andrew Regrut

Good morning. Thank you for joining us for our third quarter conference call. With me here today in Columbus are Bruce Thorn, our new President and CEO; Lisa Bachmann, EVP, Chief Merchandising and Operating Officer; and Tim Johnson, EVP, Chief Administrative Officer and CFO.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

This morning, Bruce will start the call with a few opening comments; Lisa will discuss our results from an merchandising perspective; and TJ will review the financial results from the quarter and the outlook for Q4 in fiscal 2018.

I'll now turn the call over to Bruce.

Bruce Thorn

Thank you, Andy, and good morning everyone. It's a privilege to be speaking with you today as President and CEO of Big Lots. Like Big Lots, I was born in Ohio in 1967, and I've known Big Lots my whole life. Growing up, my mother used to take me shopping at our stores to the stores on a regular basis. She was always above making our lives better with new home decor, best of holiday celebrations, and treats and toys for lives special moments. So, you can imagine how thrilled I am to have the opportunity to serve this great company and its customers.

Before I get started, I'd like to take a moment to thank TJ and Lisa for their co-leadership of Big Lots over the past year. Leading a large public company is hard work and it's even more difficult during times of transition. Their professionalism and commitment to customers and associates has been exemplary.

Let's talk about Q3. From a top line perspective, Q3 was encouraging with comps increasing 3.4%, which is solidly in line with our guidance. It represents our best quarterly comp in nearly seven years or 27 quarters to be exact. Lisa will discuss the performance by merchandising category in a moment, but suffice it to say our ownable categories are furniture and seasonal, and Soft Home are the headlines that drove the strength in performance.

Our bottom line or loss for the quarter fell far short of expectations. TJ will cover the details later on the call. While we are not happy with the quarter's mix results. Based on my observation so far, I do see several key opportunities. Here are few of them.

We are in a great market place that continues to grow. After spending the past several years in men's apparel, it's exciting to be serving all of the US population across our [00:00:50]heartiest assortment of products and solutions. We have a strong, proud team that wants to grow. We are dedicated to Jennifer and enjoy serving her. We are community retailer and our associates champion that purpose everyday in our 1,400 plus stores, five distribution centers and corporate