Big Lots own brand furniture, e-commerce drives new growth in Q2 2021

Big Lots released its second quarter of 2021 financial report, citing increased profits and sales across most categories.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Big Lots has expanded its private label collection and profits greatly in the last two years and the results have shown in its financial report.

While food and consumables were down in the second quarter of 2021, cleaning products, apparel, and furniture sales were all up, including store brand sales. Furniture performed the best for Big Lots in the second quarter of this year, up 30% from the second quarter of 2019, as leadership cited confidence in its own brands, Broyhill and Real Living.

"We have completed another solid quarter that demonstrated the strength of our Operation North Star strategic initiatives, with continued focus on our growth drivers — customer growth, merchandise productivity, e-commerce, and store count growth,” said Bruce Thorn, president and CEO of Big Lots. “We saw two-year comp sales growth across all merchandise categories other than food, with strong double digit two-year growth in furniture, soft home, hard home, and apparel, electronics and other. Furniture sales remained strong, led by continued acceleration in Broyhill. Also within furniture, we are very enthusiastic about the expanding offering in our entry-level price-point Real Living brand, which provides great value for our existing and new customers.”

Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal year 2021 totaled $1.45 billion, a 11.4% decrease compared to $1.64 billion for the same period last year, and an increase of 16.4% compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2019. The decline to last year was driven by a comparable sales decrease of 13.2%, as the company lapped an historic 31.3% comparable sales increase last year. Net new stores and relocations contributed approximately 180 basis points of sales growth. On a two-year basis, comparable sales increased 14.0%.  

E-commerce demand grew by 10% in the second quarter compared to fiscal 2020. This represents over 400% growth to the second quarter of 2019. Demand generated in the e-commerce channel was driven by strong sales in lawn & garden assortment. Big Lots cited new growth in customers aged 21-39, a shifting number from the 55 and up demographic. Active membership is up 8% from the second quarter of 2020, and Big Lots added 1.7 million new rewards customers during the second quarter of this year.

Columbus-based Big Lots operates 1,422 stores in 47 states, and was ranked #1 on Total Retail’s 2020 Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers List.