As with many stores, Big Lots! is an equal opportunity employer. The company, headquartered in Ohio, had 1,416 stores in 47 states in 2017. The number of stores may increase or decrease by a very small percentage each year, depending on how well a location is doing and how many other stores are nearby.
The company has five distribution centers located in Montgomery, AL; Durant, OK; Tremont, PA; Columbus, OH; and Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Their corporate website allows you to search for corporate jobs, store jobs or jobs in distribution centers. The company often hosts open interviews and job fairs at its stores and distribution centers.
Big Lots! History
Big Lots! Was founded in 1967 by Sol Shenk, though at that time, it wasn’t called Big Lots! and it dealt with auto parts and vehicles. In 1970, the company was called Consolidated International and that is the company that launched the Odd Lots/Big Lots closeout chain in 1982. Throughout the years, the chain includes Odd Lots, Big Lots, Bargains, Mac Frugal’s, Pic ‘N’ Save and * Closeouts.
In 2001, the chain converted all the stores to one name: Big Lots!. The company had over 35,000 associates. Since then, the store converted from closeouts to discount retailing. Big Lots! offers furniture, seasonal items, food, brand-name items and products, electronics, home décor, electronic accessories, gifts and toys.
Big Lots! Mission and Values
Big Lots! creates fun and inviting experiences for consumers and employees, plus has trustworthy value in its products. The company gives back to the community with fundraisers for charity events. It is also open to new ideas from consumers and employees. Big Lots! encourages leadership and doing the right thing for the community and its employees. Their mission is to treat everyone like family.
Number of Locations
Big Lots! has several locations in most states. In fact, only North Dakota, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., have one store. California (151 stores), Texas (112 stores) and Florida (104 stores) have the most locations in their states. The rest of the states have between 2 and 96 stores. You’ll find stores in these states in addition to those listed above:
- New Hampshire;
- New Jersey;
- New Mexico;
- New York;
- North Carolina;
- South Carolina;
- South Dakota;
- West Virginia;
- Wisconsin; and
Alaska and Hawaii do not have Big Lots! Stores.
Working for Big Lots!
According to Indeed.com, most people enjoy working at Big Lots!. They rated the store 3 out of 5 stars to work for with the best features of employment being work / life balance, management and culture. Pay is weekly. Many store jobs are combined. For example, you might be hired to run the cash register, but you will also be required to do some light maintenance, cleaning, helping out in the furniture department, stocking shelves, off-loading trucks and moving furniture.
You must wear a Big Lots! shirt with a name tag. Depending on the manager, you must wear black or beige pants and black shoes.
Education, Experience and Other Requirements
For store jobs such as cashier, you need a high school diploma or GED. For management jobs and corporate jobs, you may be required to have a degree, depending on the job you are applying for. For example, an allocation director needs a four-year degree (unspecified). You may also be required to have some type of experience if you are applying for a corporate job. The allocation director requires at least eight years of business-related experience in allocation, replenishment or planning and two years of experience in managing people.
A team leader (an in-store position) should have a high school diploma or GED or equivalent work experience, and at least five years of retail management experience is preferred. Additionally, store and distribution jobs may require you to have the ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds and to unload freight.
Depending on the position travel, math skills, decision-making skills and the ability to be organized is required.
A stocker / cashier needs to have a high school diploma, GED or work experience and must be at least 18 years old. These positions also require strong customer service and communication skills. Many of the jobs at the stores and distribution centers also require the ability to be flexible for your work schedule and to speak English. Several positions require multiple skills. Many of the store jobs are part time, and there are no benefits available for part timers. Management and corporate jobs may have benefits including paid time off, health insurance, sick leave and vacation time.