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Norwich - Big Lots, an Ohio-based discount retail store, will open Thursday as an anchor store in the Norwichtown Commons.
Company spokeswoman Toni Fink said the Norwich store will be the company's 13th in Connecticut and the first one in southeastern Connecticut. The closest store now is in Putnam.
Thursday's opening will be "a soft opening," Fink said. The store will hold a grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. on June 21. The store is located in the former Caldor and Bob's Discount Furniture spot in the newly renovated shopping center.
Big Lots Inc. describes itself as "the nation's largest broadline closeout retailer."
Fink said the fast-growing company has opened about 90 new stores across the country in each of the past three years. The company had 1,482 Big Lots stores nationwide in 2012 and also owns 79 Liquidation World and LW stores in Canada.
The grand opening ceremony will include a $1,500 donation to Samuel Huntington Elementary School. As per company tradition, Fink said the store always chooses the closest public school to make its donation.
Big Lots district manager Armando Ferreira will present the $1,500 to Huntington School third grade teacher Kevin Murphy during the grand opening.
The Norwich store will have 24,300 square feet of retail space and will offer seasonal goods, home decor, electronics, toys, and one-time closeouts along with name-brand household goods and furniture and Serta mattresses.