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Press release from PR Newswire

Big Lots Updates First Quarter Sales Guidance

Monday, April 23, 2012

Big Lots Updates First Quarter Sales Guidance16:05 EDT Monday, April 23, 2012COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) today updated guidance for retail sales for the first fiscal quarter ending April 28, 2012.Based on retail sales results quarter-to-date and assumptions for the balance of the first quarter of fiscal 2012, we now expect U.S. comparable store sales to be slightly negative compared to our prior guidance issued on March 2, 2012, which estimated a comparable store sales increase of 2% to 4%.  U.S. comparable store sales were on plan through the first six weeks of the quarter; however, sales compared to plan began to slow in late March and trends have further softened as we moved through the month of April.  From a merchandising perspective, furniture, hardlines, and seasonal, particularly lawn and garden, have been our best performing businesses; whereas, consumables and play n' wear, particularly electronics, are currently below expectations for the quarter.In terms of our recently acquired Canadian operations, based on results quarter-to-date, we anticipate retail sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 will be slightly above our guidance which estimated sales in the range of $25 to $30 million.  On Wednesday, May 23, 2012, we will release our first quarter sales and earnings results and discuss our outlook for the second quarter and the balance of fiscal 2012.Big Lots is North America's largest broadline closeout retailer.  The company currently operates 1,454 BIG LOTS stores in the 48 contiguous United States and 82 LIQUIDATION WORLD and LW stores in Canada. Wholesale operations are conducted through BIG LOTS WHOLESALE, CONSOLIDATED INTERNATIONAL, and WISCONSIN TOY and with online sales at www.biglotswholesale.com.Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements in this release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and such statements are intended to qualify for the protection of the safe harbor provided by the Act. The words "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "objective," "goal," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "will," "should," "may," "target," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook" and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. Similarly, descriptions of our objectives, strategies, plans, goals or targets are also forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to the expectations of management as to future occurrences and trends, including statements expressing optimism or pessimism about future operating results or events and projected sales, earnings, capital expenditures and business strategy. Forward-looking statements are based upon a number of assumptions concerning future conditions that may ultimately prove to be inaccurate. Forward-looking statements are and will be based upon management's then-current views and assumptions regarding future events and operating performance, and are applicable only as of the dates of such statements. Although we believe the  expectations expressed in forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of our knowledge, forward-looking statements, by their nature, involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, any one or a combination of which could materially affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.Forward-looking statements that we make herein and in other reports and releases are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, the current economic and credit crisis, the cost of goods, our inability to successfully execute strategic initiatives, competitive pressures, economic pressures on our customers and us, the availability of brand name closeout merchandise, trade restrictions, freight costs, the risks discussed in the Risk Factors section of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and other factors discussed from time to time in our other filings with the SEC, including Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. This release should be read in conjunction with such filings, and you should consider all of these risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating forward-looking statements.You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You are advised, however, to consult any further disclosures we make on related subjects in our public announcements and SEC filings. SOURCE Big Lots, Inc.For further information: Timothy A. Johnson, Senior Vice President of Finance, +1-614-278-6622