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A big holiday selection available at Big Lots

BRIDGEPORT — Holiday offerings are in evidence at Big Lots, and customers are welcome to come through the doors or explore the wares online.

“It’s a little different this year than it typically is,” Geri Themar, district manager of 15 stores including the Bridgeport location, said. “Typically in years past at this point of the season, we’re loaded with Christmas merchandise and decor. With so many people being at home this year, we have sold such a ton of Christmas-theme merchandise.”

A wide variety of items are available and, with shoppers staying careful during the COVID-19 pandemic, Themar said online sales are strong and the store offers curbside pickup.

“Our company’s been doing a lot of specials. We’ve offered quite a few different things than we used to,” she said. “We do ordering online and pick-up in the store. The nice thing about that is we’ll do online specials.”

Themar said many seem to be drawn to interior decorating, interested in furniture and home goods ranging from decorative pillows and dish towels, sofas and loveseats, to wall hangings and other holiday items to dress up a home.

“I would love to see what’s inside of people’s houses right now, because I can just imagine their Christmas wonderland,” Themar said.

“Most people put up a tree, but there are people who do their entire house. … This year, I think more and more people are dressing up their entire home. There used to be minimal decorations, but I think this year with the kids being at home so much and us not being out so often, people are making their houses feel like Christmas.”

Themar said foot traffic is down only slightly.

“I was surprised it didn’t drop further than it did. We’re taking a lot of precautions in our stores. All of the associates have been wearing masks,” she said, adding they are complying with mandated masking for customers.

Themar said Big Lots has always been part of the community, volunteering in causes and donating to area projects.

“It’s a community-centric business,” she said. “We want our customers to come in and feel like they’re walking into their home. Our associates feel like they’re neighbors.”

She commended the Bridgeport staff for their generosity in participating in campaigns to benefit Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“They pour their hearts into that. Their customers are their top concern,” she said.

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