Big Lots Appoints Off-Price Retail Veterans to Leadership Team

Big Lots Appoints Off-Price Retail Veterans to Leadership Team

Home Discount Retailer Names Kristen Cox SVP, Chief Stores Officer and Seth Marks To Newly Created Role of SVP, Extreme Value Sourcing

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG), one of America’s largest home discount retailers, today announced the appointment of two new leaders to fill roles on its senior leadership team. Experienced stores leader Kristen Cox is joining Big Lots as SVP, Chief Stores Officer, and closeout merchandising leader Seth Marks is joining the company in the newly formed role of SVP, Extreme Value Sourcing, focused on procuring outstanding products at exceptional values through unique closeout opportunities. Both Cox and Marks will begin in their roles on Dec. 4, 2023.  

“As we continue to make progress on the five key actions supporting our multi-year strategic plan, which includes improving store relevance and increasing our assortment of extreme bargains, it was important to us to find leaders for these positions that have extensive experience and proven track records in the world of off-price retail,” said Bruce Thorn, President and CEO of Big Lots.

“Improvement in stores execution is critical to increasing store relevance and overall performance,” Thorn added. “With significant experience running highly productive off-price stores, where flexible branding and assortment at the store level is critical, Kristen will help drive the continuing evolution of our store base to better showcase our assortment, value offerings, and messaging. We are excited to have her join us.”

“To accelerate our progress toward owning bargains, we have created a new role to help lead our growing team of closeout buyers,” Thorn added. “Seth is a highly seasoned closeout merchant who will rejoin us after having spent time with our company earlier in his career. Seth brings almost 30 years’ of experience in off-price and closeout sourcing and was with Big Lots at a time when the company was the clear market leader in broadline closeout retail. He returns to Big Lots with a wealth of strategic sourcing experience, deep industry relationships, and a merchandising background in extreme bargains.”

“We’re pleased to welcome both Kristen and Seth to our leadership team and look forward to their many contributions in the coming weeks and months.”

Kristen Cox
Senior Vice President, Chief Stores Officer

As Chief Stores Officer, Cox will be responsible for developing and implementing operational strategies to drive sales, improve margins, and enhance customer service across all stores. She fills the role left vacant by the retirement of Nick Padovano earlier this year. Cox will report directly to President and CEO Bruce Thorn.

Cox is a senior retail executive with nearly three decades of experience across various areas of store operations. She joins Big Lots after spending the last six and half years at Burlington Stores, where she served as SVP of Human Resources for all stores and before that SVP of Northeast and Midwest stores. Before Burlington, Cox was EVP of Stores for Macy’s Inc. North Central Region from 2013 to 2017, capping a total of 14 years in key leadership positions with Macy’s. Her experiences included driving sales through leading regional store teams, building customer service and selling strategies, developing tools and processes to shape enterprise strategy and culture, and improving operating efficiencies. Kristen began her career in stores with Macy’s in 1994.

“I’ve always felt a real connection to the Big Lots brand, which began with frequent shopping trips with my mom growing up,” said Cox. “I’ll never forget purchasing a dinnerware set, outdoor table, and other items from Big Lots for my first college apartment. As it did for me, Big Lots has made an impact on millions of customers for decades through its commitment to a noble purpose: to help people live big and save lots; and I’m very excited and deeply honored to join the team.”

Seth Marks
Senior Vice President, Extreme Value Sourcing

In the newly created role of SVP, Extreme Value Sourcing, Marks will lead an accelerated strategic deal sourcing initiative focused on procuring outstanding products at exceptional values through unique closeout opportunities, while providing higher recoveries to sellers in need of timely inventory monetization. Marks will report directly to President and CEO Bruce Thorn.

Marks first served as Vice President, Merchandising at Big Lots from 2004 to 2007, when Big Lots was the clear market leader in broadline closeout retail, and is returning to the company with a wealth of additional off-price retail experience, including liquidation, closeout, and alternative sourcing relationships. He rejoins Big Lots from Channel Control Merchants, where he most recently served as the Chief Merchandising Officer. Prior to his position at Channel Control, Marks served as the CEO of Hilco Wholesale Solutions and Chief Merchant for Hilco Merchant Resources, the world’s largest liquidation firm. His previous experience also includes serving as CEO of Liquidation World, Senior Vice President of Merchandising & Strategic Initiatives at and Head of Off Price at Sears Holdings.

“I am excited to rejoin Big Lots and build on its exceptional history of creating off-price value for its customers,” Marks said. “Big Lots’ broad product assortment and coast-to-coast retail footprint will allow us to provide customized best-in-class inventory recovery solutions to our selling partners and true one-of-a-kind deals for customers that no other retailer can provide.”

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) is one of America’s largest home discount retailers, operating more than 1,420 stores in 48 states, as well as a best-in-class ecommerce platform with expanded fulfillment and delivery capabilities. The Company’s mission is to help customers “Live Big and Save Lots” by offering unique treasures and exceptional bargains on everything for their home, including furniture, seasonal decor, kitchenware, pet supplies, food items, laundry and cleaning essentials and more. Big Lots is the recipient of Home Textiles Today’s 2021 Retail Titan Award. For more information about the company or to find the store nearest you, visit

SOURCE Big Lots, Inc.

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