In 1967, Sol Shenk founded Consolidated International, Inc. - the company that is now Big Lots. He's considered one of the true visionaries in the discount retail marketplace. Here are some noteworthy milestones.

Consolidated Stores Corporation launches the Odd Lots closeout retail chain, with the first Odd Lots located in Columbus, Ohio.

The company makes its initial public offering on the American Stock Exchange. The name Big Lots is first launched.

The company’s shares begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CNS.

James Guinan, who joined the company in 1987, is named Chairman and CEO.

Sol Shenk, Chairman Emeritus and founder, retires.

William G. Kelley is named Chairman and CEO.

1993 The company celebrates its first billion-dollar year, thanks to its buyers, store managers, associates, support personnel, and superior distribution system.

The company acquires Toy Liquidators, adding 82 stores in 38 states, primarily in outlet centers.

With the purchase of KB Toys, Consolidated Stores Corporation doubles its size and sales.

Consolidated Stores Corporation opens 1.1 million square foot distribution center in Montgomery, Alabama. The company acquires Mac Frugal’s Bargains Close-Outs Inc., expanding its market coverage coast to coast.

KB Toys joins forces with, Inc. to create, an Internet shopping site.

Michael Potter succeeds the retiring William Kelley as Chairman and CEO. The company sells KB Toys and to private investors in order to focus entirely on a single business with a single brand.

Consolidated Stores Corporation announces key strategic initiatives for the next five years and gains shareholder approval to change its name to Big Lots, Inc., and redomesticates to Ohio. Big Lots begins converting all its stores to a single national brand.

In August 2002 Big Lots completes its conversion to a single national brand. With the rebranding, the company made many improvements in the Big Lots shopping experience, including updated, attractive stores and even better customer service. The changes bring record-setting increases in customer transactions.

Big Lots launches first-ever $50 million national television advertising campaign. The company opened 86 new stores, remodeled 211 existing stores, expanded 242 furniture departments and added 157 furniture departments to new and existing stores.

Steven Fishman succeeds Michael Potter as Chairman, CEO, and President. A 30-year veteran of the retail industry, Fishman provides the ongoing strategic direction for Big Lots' long-term growth, which includes building the company's buying organization, increasing brand recognition, and maximizing earnings potential.

Big Lots celebrates the company's 20th year of trading on the New York Stock Exchange and its new NYSE stock-ticker symbol: BIG.

Big Lots expands its presence in the United States with the grand opening of 17 new stores on Friday, November 19. With these openings, Big Lots surpasses the 1,400-store threshold while operating in all of the 48 contiguous states.