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Published: Friday, 10/7/2005

Big Lots to close 11% of its stores

COLUMBUS - Closeout retailer Big Lots Inc. said yesterday it will close as many as 170 underperforming stores, or 11 percent of its total, by the end of the year to bolster company performance.

The targeted stores are mostly in the Midwest, and largely in rural areas. The Columbus company, which has 1,536 stores in 47 states, declined to identify the affected stores. Metro Toledo has four stores.

The company had said it would close about 40 stores this year before a review turned up an additional 85 closeout stores and 41 furniture stores that weren't meeting the mark.

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