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Big Lots names Walmart grocery vet to EVP, Chief Merchandising Officer

COLUMBUS, OhioJuly 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) today announced that Jack Pestello has been appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer of Big Lots, effective July 27, 2020. Mr. Pestello succeeds Lisa Bachmann who, as previously announced, will be retiring after a transition period. Mr. Pestello will report directly to Bruce Thorn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Big Lots.

Jack Pestello

Mr. Pestello joins Big Lots following seven years in leadership roles at Walmart and with over 25 years of global retail experience spanning merchandising, sourcing, category and brand development. At Walmart, he most recently served as Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager for Walmart’s Grocery business, after having spent five years as Senior Vice President, Private Brands, where he was responsible for nearly doubling sales while significantly reducing sourcing costs. Previously, Mr. Pestello served as Vice President of Walmart’s International Division, where he led the global consolidation of supplier partnerships and built an international framework and strategic platform for the Private Brands business. Prior to Walmart, Mr. Pestello served in a number of positions in value-oriented and consumer-focused businesses including Chief Merchandising Officer of Woolworths Australia and business development and operations roles at Daymon Worldwide.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Jack to Big Lots and are confident that the strong balance of strategic and executional skills he brings to our team will make an immediate positive impact,” said Bruce Thorn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Big Lots. “Jack is a true value retail merchant, with a proven track record in strategic sourcing and implementing merchandising strategies to drive traffic. We look forward to benefiting from his industry expertise and insights as we continue to execute on our strategic initiatives to generate long-term, sustainable growth.”

“Delivering a compelling customer experience and maintaining deep customer connections is more important than ever in today’s retail environment,” Mr. Pestello said. “I am excited to leverage my brand-building and merchandising experience to further advance Big Lots’ momentum, and ensure we continue to provide great products and value to our customers. I look forward to working closely with Bruce and the rest of the leadership team to help the company fulfill its potential.”

Mr. Thorn added, “I want to thank Lisa Bachmann for her tremendous contributions in multiple roles with Big Lots over the past 18 years, and for her support in helping us achieve a seamless transition. Lisa will always be part of our Big Lots family, and we wish her every success going forward.”

As part of today’s announcement, the company reported that it has continued to experience strong demand and now expects comparable sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 to be at the high end of its previously communicated guidance of a mid-to-high twenties percentage increase.

About Big Lots, Inc.
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) is a discount retailer operating 1,404 BIG LOTS stores in 47 states with product assortments in the merchandise categories of Furniture, Seasonal, Soft Home, Food, Consumables, Hard Home, and Electronics, Toys & Accessories. The company’s mission is to help people Live BIG and Save Lots. The company strives to be the BIG difference for a better life by delivering unmatched value to customers through surprise and delight, being a “best places to work” culture for associates, rewarding shareholders with consistent growth and top tier returns, and doing good in communities as the company does well. For more information about the company, visit www.biglots.com.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Certain 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 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 the company believes the expectations expressed in forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of knowledge, forward-looking statements, by their nature, involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, any one or a combination of which could materially affect business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.

Forward-looking statements that the company makes 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, current economic and credit conditions, the cost of goods, the inability to successfully execute strategic initiatives, competitive pressures, economic pressures on customers and the company, the availability of brand name closeout merchandise, trade restrictions, freight costs, the risks discussed in the Risk Factors section of the company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and other factors discussed from time to time in 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. The company undertakes 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 the company makes on related subjects in public announcements and SEC filings.