Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) Q3 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Dec 04, 2020 • 08:00 am ET

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Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) Q3 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Operator
Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the Big Lots Third Quarter Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] On the call today are; Bruce Thorn, President and CEO; and Jonathan Ramsden, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer.

Before starting today's call, the company would like to remind you that any forward looking statements made in the call involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to the company's safe harbor provisions, as stated in the company's press release and SEC filings, and the actual results could differ materially from those described in forward looking statements. The company would also like to point out that commentary today is focused on adjusted non-GAAP results. Reconciliations of GAAP to non-GAAP adjusted results are available in today's press release.

I will now hand the call over to Bruce Thorn, President and CEO of Big Lots. Mr. Thorn, please go ahead.

Executive
Bruce Thorn

Thank you and good morning everyone. I am thrilled with the strong results we reported this morning and what our team has accomplished thus far this year. This was another record-breaking quarter with comparable sales increasing 17.8% and EPS of $0.76, representing our highest ever third quarter adjusted earnings, far exceeding last year's comparable figure.

Our consistently outstanding results throughout the COVID crisis attributes to the exceptional and unwavering teamwork across the entire organization.

Once again, I want to thank our associates in our stores, the distribution centers and our corporate headquarters for their dedication and tireless efforts.

As many of you probably know, we made the decision this year to close our stores at 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, to make certain our associates had as much time with family as possible in this atypical year. While our stores are typically open throughout Thanksgiving, we were happy to provide our teams with the opportunity to be with their families, while also offering our customers a desirable window to shop for last minute needs.

The guiding principles we have used to navigate what remained uncertain times, include the key priority of making our stores and workplaces as safe as possible. We remain steadfast in that objective as we once again see COVID cases rapidly increasing. Along with clear and rigorous safety standards, social distancing and cleaning protocols in all of our stores and workplaces, our investment in new e-comm and omni channel capabilities, such as curbside pickup and same day delivery, are a critical part of these efforts.

Over the past quarter, we have seen continued momentum from the COVID induced nesting trend, but the strength of our business also reflects the strategies that we're already rolling out under Operation North Star. These include our Broyhill launch, the introduction across 750 stores of The Lot and Queue Line initiatives and our pantry optimization reset. All of these initiatives have been successful. And along with our growing e-comm capabilities and expanding customer file, position as for continued strong progress going forward.

As I mentioned in our last call and the current way of living, our assortment