Several Big Lots stores in the area might soon begin to sell alcohol.
Big Lots has applied with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for licenses to sell wine and beer at several stores in the area.
The move is part of a corporate initiative that started several years ago, said Andy Regrut, director of investor relations at the Columbus, Ohio, company. The alcohol initiative is “geographic specific” and started in states where it is easier for the stores to obtain a license, Regrut said.
The closeout retailer is also testing coolers in 75 stores to see whether cold beer sells better than warm beer, Regrut said.
Big Lots gets its merchandise from other retail stores that need to get rid of items to make room for new products. The alcoholic beverages will be obtained the same way, Regrut said.
Customers should expect to see well-known brands of beer and wine as well as some unique brands, Regrut said. The stores will also sell non-alcoholic mixers.
Big Lots applied in July with the ABC to sell alcohol at the Vinton, Christiansburg and Salem stores as well as the Hershberger Road store in Roanoke, according to a database on the ABC’s website. Big Lots also applied for licenses for 21 other Virginia stores.
The licenses were still pending last week, according to the database.
Big Lots’ newest store, which opened last week on Franklin Road in Roanoke, did not appear in the ABC’s database.
That store opened in the former Food Lion building. It will hold a grand opening Friday.
Also in the column, an area Quizno’s franchisee is scaling back and a men’s clothing store that had planned to close will remain open.