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Sunday, August 11, 2013
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.
Quiznos franchisee has decided to scale back
A franchisee who opened four Quiznos sandwich restaurants is gradually closing the eateries so he can retire.
The latest Quiznos to close was in Salem at Spartan Square. Franchisee Glenn Lavinder, 67, said the shop's lease was up and he decided not to renew.
Last year he closed his Blacksburg location. The closure came after Virginia Tech opened Turner Place, a $35.7 million dining hall featuring a Japanese steakhouse, European cafe, bagel bakery and Mexican grill. The new dining hall hurt business at the sub shop, Lavinder said.
His Christiansburg location, the first of his franchises to open in 2001, closed in 2011.
The Quiznos off Electric Road near the intersection with Brambleton Avenue remains open. That store's lease has about a year or more left, and Lavinder said he hasn't decided whether he will renew the lease.
Lavinder said reducing the number of sub shops will ease his workload.
"It's like having a child that never sleeps," he said.
Thompson's to stay open
Thompson's Men's Clothing Store, which announced in March it would close, will remain open.
Owner Frank Thompson said in March he would close the Salem store when the inventory was gone. He said he believed at the time that he had found a buyer for the store's 5,000-square-foot building on East Main Street.
But that deal fell through, and now Thompson said he will keep the store open until the building does sell. He is selling the building himself and is asking $175,000.
The store has fall and winter clothes in stock now, and Thompson was preparing last week to order his spring inventory, he said.
Thompson opened the store 45 years ago. He became known for serving men who are hard to fit, and the store is one of 91 members of Big and Tall Associates, a nonprofit trade association that holds buying shows for retailers.
Thompson, 78, still works at the store six days a week. His son-in-law is manager there .
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