Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Big Lots

Big Lots store, Murrieta CA. Was a former Pic ...
Big Lots store, Murrieta CA. Was a former Pic 'n' Save store. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They opened a new Big Lots store in my hometown last week.  I had never been in a Big Lots store, but had heard about them.  They are a retailer that specializes in buying close out merchandise from other retailers and wholesalers.  This past weekend, I had to check them out.  My initial experience was a mixed bag, but I will definitely go back there again.

First, our Big Lots store here in Bowie, MD took over the space that was occupied by the now defunct Borders Books.  My wife had been in the store earlier in the week and told me she was not impressed.  Her feeling was that the aisles were too narrow and hard to move around.  I have to agree with her assessment.  I walked through with a small hand cart and it was difficult to get through.  It would be really hard to maneuver a full sized shopping cart (which they have) around.

The big reason to go to Big Lots is the pricing of their merchandise.  They buy close out merchandise from a variety of sources and they sell the product dirt cheap.  Their pricing may be cheap, but the merchandise isn't.  They have a lot of brand name products at great prices, however, they assortment is constantly changing.  A lot of products are definitely "while supplies last."

I was in kind of a hurry during my initial trip into Big Lots, so I didn't check out everything.  I bought a few snack items.  I picked up a couple cans of Pringles for $1.10 per can, which normally sells for around $2 at my grocery store.  I also got a can of Kraft Easy Cheese for $1.99 which most grocers are selling for over $4 per can.  I definitely need to get back in there because I saw on their website that they may have gotten in some K-cups.  I can't wait to see what they sell those for.

They have a lot of different types of products there besides food and beverages.  I saw a few gas grills along the back aisle of the store, but didn't check them out.  They had a good selection of Cuisinart products at great prices along with other housewares.  One thing I definitely need to go back for before we visit our son at school next Sunday is a portable Sylvania DVD player for $57.  He either lost or broke the one he had and we had hesitated to get him a new one, but $57 is a whole lot better than $90-$100 which is what I usually see them priced at.

The other bad thing about the place, besides the cramped aisles, is the parking lot.  There isn't much parking, and the parking spaces are extremely narrow.  It is difficult to park within the lines and not be close to the adjacent cars.  I deliberately parked fairly far away from the store in order to have enough space to park.  Unfortunately, when I came back to my car, someone else was not so considerate.  There was a car parked less than 6" from the driver side of my car.  I had to enter my car from the passenger side and climb over the center console.

I'll be honest, I considered taking some less than honorable actions.  A friend told me one time that if I wanted to really get somebody I should put a BB under the valve stem cover.  It would create a slow leak and let the air out of the tires.  I was looking around in the rain for pebbles that would do the trick.  I didn't find any.  I ended up leaving a note on the windshield informing the person that he or she was a "fucking asshole."  Damn, I wish I could have found those pebbles.

All in all thought, I will definitely be making regular visits to Big Lots.  They had a lot of worthwhile products at great prices. Hopefully I will be able to get in there tomorrow and find some K-cups.  If I could score some of those at close to half price, I will definitely be stocking up.

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