Employees Say Williamsburg Big Lots to Close in January

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It appears that Big Lots in the Monticello Shopping Center in Williamsburg is closing.

Employees have been informing customers the location will close by Jan. 14 and other area Big Lots stores will remain open. Last week WYDaily spoke to a manager at the Monticello Big Lots store to ask about the closing before being referred to corporate offices. Calls to the corporate offices had not been returned as of Friday afternoon.

Robert Fowler, who owns the building, said the retailer’s lease ends Jan. 14, 2014 and it has not yet been renewed. A store-wide sale is going on now.

Big Lots is a closeout retailer based in Columbus, Ohio that has been in business since 1985 and now has about 1,500 locations in the United States with, according to most recent data, 39 locations in Virginia. Big Lots buys closeout merchandise from manufacturers trying to reduce their inventory for reasons like canceled orders, package changes or discontinuation.

Michele DeWitt, the city’s director of economic development, said though she couldn’t quantify exactly how the closing would affect the city’s economy, she did know which two city revenue streams the closing would affect most directly – sales tax and the Business Professional and Occupational License tax.

“We’re always sorry when a business closes in the city,” DeWitt said.