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    Big Lots Enters Crowded Grocery Market

    Discount chain is overhauling its western New York stores to include grocery items

    Consumers have almost unlimited choices when it comes to where to shop for groceries, and the discount chain Big Lots has entered the fray. The 11 stores in western New York are devoting more room to groceries, including adding coolers for cold and frozen products like milk and cheese in addition to the canned meat, fruit and vegetables they have carried in the past. The addition of the coolers now allows the retailer to accept SNAP and EBT payments.

    “Grocery is a really hot category for us, and it’s growing,” said Peter Mensinger, a district manager for Big Lots in an article published in the Buffalo News.

    The stores have streamlined the grocery items, locating them all in one location with shelf strips and overhead signs indicating the grocery section. The chain, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, also expanded its ethnic food offerings, adding a World Flavors section to all of its stores. World Flavors is a concept that had previously only been featured in urban stores or those with a large immigrant customer base. The World Flavors concept has been expanded from 4 feet of shelf space to an entire section.

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