Report: Ironton Big Lots store on closure list

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

Known as the closeout king, the Ironton Big Lots store may be closing out itself.

Details remain hush-hush but the Ironton retailer will reportedly close its doors for good early next year. Big Lots Inc. announced last week that it planned to close up to 170 underperforming stores, in an effort to bolster company-wide performance.

Corporate officials were unavailable

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for comment and no official list of closures has been released. However, all signs point to the Ironton store that opened in 1987 as being one of those on the chopping block.

&#8221It has been hard. Everyone comes in upset,“ said one source close to the local store. &#8221The community needs to know.“

Multiple sources indicate that the store closure is definite, though an exact date is not as clear.

One source said the store will likely receive shipments at least through November and close between December and February.

The Ironton Big Lots store employs approximately 20 people. Whether or not those individuals will be transferred to another location remains to be seen.

The targeted stores are mostly in the Midwest and have had marginal performances, the company reported to the Associated Press. Big Lots operates 1,536 stores in 47 states and said it plans to open few new stores next year.

The company earlier had announced it would close approximately 40 stores this year, a normal annual rate for the company. But a store-by-store review turned up another 85 closeout stores and all 41 of its standalone furniture stores that weren't meeting the mark.

The stores have an average of 25 to 30 employees each, but that number varies, spokesman Tim Johnson said. The company won't know how many jobs will be lost until it tries to place the employees at other stores.

In early 2003, Big Lots remodeled 17 stores in the Tri-State, including the Ironton store. Renovated stores also include a &#8221hot new closeouts area“ designed to showcase an ever-changing selection of products.

Big Lots invested more than $3 million to renovate the 17 locations.