Big Lots! – Canada’s New Clear-out King

It did not come as a great surprise that Liquidation World met its demise this week with the announced purchase of its 89 stores in Canada by Big Lots.

Liquidation World shares have been on a slide this year and the chain was struggling to stay afloat, cutting stores and operating under emergency measures.

With the $1.8 million purchase (that’s right – less than this weeks 6/49 jackpot), Canada inherits yet another US retailer in what seems like a steady stream of American chains looking to the greener grass (or is it whiter snow) north of the border.

Big Lots! is a big retailer in the United States with 1,400 stores located across 48 states and it’s sales are almost $5 billion per year. The Liquidation World purchase is just a small snack for this Columbus, Ohio based retailer.

What does it mean for us? For the most part it means that we will have a stable clear-out operator here in Canada. We may also see more US goods appearing in their Canadian stores, although Canadian packaging regulations will mean some rework to ensure compliance. We expect that the stores will be rebranded under the Big Lots! brand here in Canada.

Big Lots! also becomes an interesting potential tenant for the Zellers properties that Target does not convert heading into 2013. We’ll have to wait and see.

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