The Culture At Big Lots

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Big Lots Overview

Big Lots, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiaries, is a North America's closeout retailer. At January 28, 2012, the Company operated a total of 1,533 stores in two countries: the United States and Canada. The Company operates in two segments: U.S. and Canada. The merchandising categories include Consumables, Furniture, Home, Seasonal, Play n' Wear, and Hardlines & Other. The Consumables category includes the food, health and beauty, plastics, paper, chemical, and pet departments. The Furniture category includes the upholstery, mattresses, ready-to-assemble, and case goods departments. The Home category includes the domestics, stationery, and home decorative departments. The Seasonal category includes the lawn and garden, Christmas, summer, and other holiday departments. The Play n' Wear category includes the electronics, toys, jewelry, infant accessories, and apparel departments. The Hardlines & Other category includes the appliances, tools, paint, and home maintenance departments.
Big Lots has been around for a long time. It was founded back in 1967. This established company loves to hire graduates from Ohio State University, with 13.2% of its employees having attended Ohio State University. Big Lots is a great place to work and is featured as number 3 on Zippia's list of Best Companies to Work for in Columbus, OH. The average employee at Big Lots makes $31,140 per year. In comparison, some of its highest paying competitors, like Vudu, Target, and Factory Card & Party Outlet, pay $74,416, $35,516, and $34,643, respectively.
Based in Columbus, OH, Big Lots is an industry leader with 22,900 employees and an annual revenue of $5.3B.

The Organization’s Mission

Surprises in every aisle, every day. Unexpected prices, items, and brands.

Perks of Working at Big Lots

Employees at Big Lots receive healthcare benefits, a 401k savings plan, company-paid life insurance, bonus programs, a competitive vacation plan, etc.







Founded in



Columbus, OH


Organization Type


Is This Your Company?

Big Lots Employee Reviews

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Zippia UserMarch 2022


Zippia Official LogoZippia UserMarch 2022

What Do You Like About Working There?

Friendly environment

What DON'T You Like About Working There?

Not working with animals

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

Easy shopping and close to home
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Zippia UserMay 2021


Zippia Official LogoZippia UserMay 2021

What Do You Like About Working There?

Interacting with the customers.

What DON'T You Like About Working There?

Some managers require you to work more than others when they see your potential.

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

20% discount for associates; and being able to work the hours that are best fit for me.
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Zippia UserApril 2021


Zippia Official LogoZippia UserApril 2021

What Do You Like About Working There?

my colleagues are my favorite thing about working at Big Lots.

What DON'T You Like About Working There?

some of my shifts are very early, like 4am early. But those shifts are usually less than 6 hours.

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

Big Lots sells a variety of products/merchandise, so it's often one stop shopping (saving time). And I also get an employee discount saving money).
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Zippia UserMarch 2021


Zippia Official LogoZippia UserMarch 2021

What Do You Like About Working There?

Weekly Pay

What DON'T You Like About Working There?

Working community and lack of staff communication.

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

Flexible schedules.
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Zippia UserFebruary 2021


Zippia Official LogoZippia UserFebruary 2021

What Do You Like About Working There?

I like the people that I work with and how the managers treat their employees.

What DON'T You Like About Working There?

I don’t like that it is a part time job and that I’m not getting the hours that I need.
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The Team At Big Lots

  • Bruce K. Thorn (CEO / President)
  • Sol Shenk (Founder)
The Inside Scoop
Big Lots, Inc., based in Columbus, OH, is a community retailer operating more than 1,400 Big Lots stores in 47 states. It offers products in various categories - furniture, food, decor, mattresses, electronics, toys, and much more. Its mission is to be the best retailer in the community and provide friendly service. Big Lots supports the communities it serves through the Big Lots Foundation, a charitable organization focused on four areas of need: hunger, housing, healthcare, and education.
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Big Lots Company Rankings

Big Lots is ranked #62 on the Best Retail Companies to Work For in America list. Zippia's Best Places to Work lists provide unbiased, data-based evaluations of companies. Rankings are based on government and proprietary data on salaries, company financial health, and employee diversity.

Read more about how we rank companies.

Big Lots Salaries

How much does Big Lots pay?
The national average salary for a Big Lots employee in the United States is $31,140 per year. Employees in the top 10 percent can make over $46,000 per year, while employees at the bottom 10 percent earn less than $21,000 per year.
Salary Score
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Average Employee Earnings

Big Lots Salaries By Job Title

While the average employee salary at Big Lots is $31,140, there is a big variation in pay depending on the role. Some of the job titles with high salaries at Big Lots are Store Manager, Assistant Manager, Customer Service Specialist, and Forklift Operator. A typical Store Manager salary at Big Lots is $48,958. Other roles at Big Lots include Merchandiser and Stock Clerk. A Merchandiser at Big Lots earns an average yearly salary of $23,970.
Average Salarydesc
Store Manager
Salary Range43k - 55k$49k$48,958
Assistant Manager
Salary Range36k - 42k$39k$39,317
Customer Service Specialist
Salary Range34k - 40k$38k$37,539
Forklift Operator
Salary Range32k - 37k$35k$35,256
Warehouse Worker
Salary Range31k - 37k$35k$34,830
Salary Range32k - 36k$35k$34,541
Truck Unloader
Salary Range29k - 34k$32k$32,309
Material Handler
Salary Range29k - 35k$32k$32,229
Customer Service Representative
Salary Range29k - 33k$31k$31,246
Team Leader
Salary Range25k - 35k$30k$30,341

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Big Lots Careers

On average, employees at Big Lots stay with the company for 3.0 years. Employees most commonly join Big Lots after leaving Walmart. When they leave Big Lots, they most frequently get their next job at Walmart.

Top Employers Before Big Lots

6.2 %

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Big Lots Employee Demographics

Diversity Score
We calculated the diversity score of companies by measuring multiple factors, including the ethnic background, gender identity, and language skills of their workforce.



46.1 %


53.9 %



62.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.7 %

Black or African American

12.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


81.0 %


4.7 %


2.3 %
See More About Big Lots Demographics

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Big Lots Employees Education

Of the 22,900 employees at Big Lots, 13.2% attended Ohio State University. Employees at Big Lots most frequently majored in Business, and most employees’ highest level of education is a High School Diploma.


Ohio State University

13.2 %

DeVry University

7.0 %

Central State University

5.5 %



27.9 %

General Studies

10.7 %

Criminal Justice

8.3 %


High School Diploma

46.4 %


19.0 %


18.3 %

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Big Lots Employee Political Affiliation

Big Lots employees are most likely to be members of the Democratic Party. The largest donation made to a political party by a Big Lots employee was by Steven Fishman. Steven Fishman donated $13,700 to the Republican Party.


Democratic Party

50.0 %

Republican Party

50.0 %

Employee Political Donations

NameJob TitlePartyDonation
Steven FishmanPresident/Chief Executive OfficerRepublican Party$13,700
David CampisiChief Executive OfficerRepublican Party$3,335
Annette PocchiDistrict ManagerRepublican Party$2,137
Richard RandallDistrict ManagerRepublican Party$1,500
Megan PowersStore AssociateDemocratic Party$1,327
Rebecca SlaymanAccountantRepublican Party$1,200
Elaine CampoManagerDemocratic Party$1,045
Marilyn MichaelSalesRepublican Party$1,000
Rick ROYDTSDemocratic Party$989
Robin GrantCorporate CounselDemocratic Party$782
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Big Lots Employment Videos

Big Lots Financial Performance

Performance Score
We calculated the performance score of companies by measuring multiple factors, including revenue, longevity, and stock market performance.


> $1B

Founded in


Organization type


Big Lots Financing Rounds

DateAmountSecurity Type
Apr 22, 2019$2,600,000Post Ipo Equity
Nov 8, 2019$3,050,000Post Ipo Equity

How Would You Rate The Company Culture Of Big Lots?

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Big Lots Competitors

Based on our research, similar companies to Big Lots are Vudu, Target, and Factory Card & Party Outlet. Employees at Vudu earn more than most of the competition, with an average yearly salary of $74,416. Employees at Target earn an average of $35,516 per year, and the employees at Factory Card & Party Outlet earn an average salary of $34,643 per year.
Average Salarydesc
Salary Range52k - 105k$74k$74,416
Salary Range23k - 52k$36k$35,516

Factory Card & Party Outlet

Salary Range24k - 48k$35k$34,643
Salary Range23k - 45k$33k$32,636
Costco Wholesale
Salary Range26k - 38k$32k$31,995
Bed Bath & Beyond
Salary Range25k - 40k$32k$31,940
Salary Range26k - 38k$32k$31,591
Salary Range24k - 40k$31k$31,396
BJ's Wholesale Club
Salary Range23k - 42k$31k$31,371
Cost Plus World Market
Salary Range22k - 43k$31k$31,283

Frequently Asked Questions about Big Lots

When was Big Lots founded?

Big Lots was founded in 1967.

How many Employees does Big Lots have?

Big Lots has 22,900 employees.

How much money does Big Lots make?

Big Lots generates $5.3B in revenue.

What industry is Big Lots in?

Big Lots is in the retailing industry.

What is Big Lots's mission?

Big Lots's mission statement is "Surprises in every aisle, every day. Unexpected prices, items, and brands."

What type of company is Big Lots?

Big Lots is a public company.

Who are Big Lots's competitors?

Big Lots competitors include Kroger, The Home Depot, Costco Wholesale, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl's, BJ's Wholesale Club, Vudu, Ross Stores, Dillard's, Factory Card & Party Outlet, Walmart, Dollar General, Target, Kmart, Cost Plus World Market, Toys R Us, Dollar Tree, Burlington Stores, DICK'S Sporting Goods, Lowe's.

Who works at Big Lots?

Bruce K. Thorn (CEO / President)

Sol Shenk (Founder)

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Big Lots FAQs

Does Big Lots drug test?

No, Big Lots does not routinely drug test. There is no drug test requirement in its hiring process.

The company does have a drug-free workplace policy. Employees may be asked to complete a drug test if there is reasonable suspicion based on physical and behavioral signs to suggest that they are intoxicated, or if they have an accident at work. If a drug test is required for these reasons, it is usually a standard urine test.

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Does Big Lots hire felons?

Yes, Big Lots does hire felons. For the most part, Big Lots does appear to hire felons if they are the best candidates for the job and their convictions do not conflict with the job under consideration.

While Big Lots does hire felons, it may vary depending on the Big Lots location because, at the end of the day, it is ultimately up to the person doing the hiring. Big Lots does background checks before onboarding a new employee. Every state is different, so if you have a felony, it may or may not show up on your record.

Some felonies fall off your record depending on your record. To know for sure, we recommend running your own background check.

In recent years, there have been efforts to increase opportunities for those with a criminal record in the workplace, and this includes Big Lots. Regardless you will need to let the employer know about your past before the background check. The background check is typically done at the last stage of the hiring process as the final step.

Before applying, be sure to do some research about how your state handles background checks. In some states, there is only a limited number of years on which the background check will focus on.

For the following states, for example, the background checks only go back seven years:

  • California

  • Colorado

  • Kansas

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Montana

  • Nevada

  • New Hampshire

  • New York

  • Texas

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How do you answer, "Why are you interested in working for Big Lots"?

You answer the question, "Why are you interested in working for Big Lots?" by talking about your interest in retail and customer service, and your relevant work experience. Big Lots is a retail organization, with a specific focus on delivering exceptional value for its customers, so any answers about delivering excellent customer service are appropriate.

Big Lots also has warehouse and distribution center jobs. In this case, showing a desire to work efficiently and an ability to work well within set processes and procedures is appropriate.

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How do you write a cover letter for Big Lots?

To write a cover letter for Big Lots, you only need a couple of paragraphs at most for an entry-level job. The Big Lots hiring is done through an online application that may offer you to upload or cut and paste a cover letter.

Computers check applications for keywords that match the language in the job opening. Your work history is usually more important than your cover letter for this type of service job. Your cover letter can be a one or two-paragraph description of who you are, any relevant accomplishments or experiences, and a statement of why you want to work at that store.

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How old do you have to be to work at Big Lots?

You have to be 18 years old in order to work at Big Lots. This requirement is across the board for all positions at Big Lots, whether full or part-time.

Big Lots requires that a person is at minimum 18 years old to be hired. Additionally, they also prefer that you have a high school diploma or GED.

They have this higher age requirement due to the nature of the job, which uses potentially dangerous tools and machinery (like a baler to crush cardboard) that a person needs to be an adult in order to operate.

Additionally, they only hire 18-year-olds because they are looking for employees who have a flexible schedule and can fill a variety of shifts needed to complete the work.

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What benefits does Big Lots offer?

Big Lots offers a full range of benefits, though some are subject to eligibility requirements and part-time or full-time status. A general overview of its benefits includes:

  • Medical

  • Prescriptions

  • Dental

  • Vision

  • Company-paid life insurance

  • Supplemental life insurance

  • Investment opportunities

  • 401(k) savings plan with company match

  • Disability income protection

  • Short and long-term disability

  • Paid sick days

  • Bonus programs

  • Competitive vacation plan

  • Company-paid holidays and floating holidays

  • Educational assistance

  • Associate merchandise discount

  • Flexible spending accounts

  • Employee assistance program

  • Relocation assistance

  • Discounts on mobile service and products

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What is the dress code at Big Lots?

The dress code at Big Lots is business casual. Generally, Big Lots requires an outfit consisting of jeans or dress shorts with a Big Lots shirt for men, and jeans or dress pants and a Big Lots shirt for women. They also require employees to wear flat, closed-toe shoes.

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What's the hiring process at Big Lots?

The hiring process at Big Lots consists of a series of steps that include an online application and interview process. The entire hiring process can take between one week to one month, depending on the job that you're applying for.

Entry-level applicants typically take up to one week to complete the entire hiring process; however, potential managers may spend between two weeks to a month attending interviews and fulfilling the various requirements for upper-level candidates.

To begin, candidates must apply online because the screening process must go through their human resources department first. To complete an online application or view available positions at Big Lots in your area, go to The website also offers a notification option that will alert you when relevant positions at Big Lots open up.

Once you submit your application online, you will receive an automated acknowledgment via the email address you added. The length of time to review all applications varies by position - ranging from two days to three weeks.

If qualified, you will be contacted by a Big Lots Team Member to set up a 1:1 interview. In most cases, the interview lasts for 30 to 60 minutes. For most entry-level positions, only one interview is needed.

Typically, you'll hear back within a day or two on whether you have the job. In some cases, they may hire you on the spot. For management positions, it may require several rounds of interviews that can take up to one month.

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Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of Big Lots, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about Big Lots. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at Big Lots. The data on this page is also based on data sources collected from public and open data sources on the Internet and other locations, as well as proprietary data we licensed from other companies. Sources of data may include, but are not limited to, the BLS, company filings, estimates based on those filings, H1B filings, and other public and private datasets. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of this information. None of the information on this page has been provided or approved by Big Lots. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of Big Lots and its employees or that of Zippia.

Big Lots may also be known as or be related to Big Lots, Inc., Big Lots, Big Lots Stores, Inc., Big Lots Inc and Big Lots Stores.