BIG LOTS GOES LARGE WITH ADVERTISING

Closeout Retailer Launches $50 Million National Push

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Columbus, Ohio-based closeout retailer Big Lots launched its first national TV campaign today, making it yet another major player in an already tight retail environment.

Big Lots, with 1,350 stores in 45 states,

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has completed a two-year program of converting its properties, which included Pic 'N' Save, Mac Frugal's and Odd Lots, into one brand. Big Lots picks up merchandise from some 3,000 manufacturers of toys, furniture, gifts, housewares, consumables and seasonal products.

Pressure from discounters
At a time when department stores are reeling under pressure from discounters such as Wal-Mart and Target and consumers are expecting big discounts, Big Lots is upping the ante by claiming its prices are 20% to 40% lower than discount stores, and 70% below traditional retailers.

The $50 million campaign, from SBC Advertising, Columbus, Ohio, includes four 30-second English language spots, and one Spanish-language commercial that will run on Univision, Telemundo and TeleFutura.

Big Lots plans to open 90 new stores and remodel 200 existing stores this year as well as increase its furniture business.

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