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Thread: Boycott Big Lots - Back Me Up Guys

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    Boycott Big Lots - Back Me Up Guys

    I'm new to this thread, but I've been OCing for a little while now. I've been getting most of my OC information from pafoa.org.

    Anyway, the reason I'm posting this is because I was rudely asked to leave the Big Lots in Indiana, PA for openly carrying a firearm. A manager approached me and informed me that carrying a firearm in the store was against store policy (it actually wasn't). She then went on to explain to me how dangerous firearms were. I didn't realize it until talking with this person, but apparently guns kill people.

    So, needless to say I sent a "nasty-gram" to their store manager and district manager. In it I detailed the situation, explained PA state law, and even offered to come to their stores on my own time to provide information to their employees about the Open Carry Phenomenon.

    Well, it's been well over a month, nearly a month and a half, and I have yet to hear anything from the Big Lots corporation. I guess that customer satisfaction and 2nd Amendment rights are at the very bottom of their priority list.

    So, I have decided to provide other fine, OC friendly companies in my area with my business. I will never spend my hard earned money in a Big Lots ever again. I encourage you all to do the same. I know that some of you may have had wonderful experience with this company. If you have, that is good. I just feel like I need to do something because this is the only place in my area where I've been harassed, and then ignored for OCing.

    Thank you for your time.
    John S.

    Edit: Here is a link to the PAFOA sight where I originally posted about the event. http://forum.pafoa.org/open-carry-14...-big-lots.html
    Last edited by springfield24; 09-08-2010 at 11:15 PM. Reason: Addition of link

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    I just used the "Contact Us" link at BigLots.com to advise them that I will not shop there until they publish a national policy that they will follow local and State laws for allowing carry, a la Starbucks, Sears, K-Mart, and many other retailers.

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    Regular Member 4angrybadgers's Avatar
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    Emails can easily slip into oblivion at the bottom of an inbox. Before you assume that they don't care about your complaint, how about calling?

    Also, you call it a "nasty-gram"... remember the old proverb "It's easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar"?

    By your own words Big Lots doesn't have a store policy against firearms carry - it was just a manager creating his/her own policy. If the problem was limited to just that one store, why are you calling for a national boycott of all Big Lots?

    edit: this was directed at the OP - eye95 slipped in the middle while I was still typing.
    Last edited by 4angrybadgers; 09-08-2010 at 11:34 AM.

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    The threat of a national boycott is in order. If the chain does not have a national policy supporting the 2A, then almost all individual stores will act as this one has.

    The threat of a national boycott worked with Sears/K-Mart. It will either work here or I (and many others) will stop shopping at any Big Lots.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    I promise I will keep not shopping at Big Lots until they change their policies. Then I might start shopping there, but probably not. At least Starbucks gained me as a new customer when they took their gun-neutral stance.

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    Regular Member 4angrybadgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The threat of a national boycott is in order. If the chain does not have a national policy supporting the 2A, then almost all individual stores will act as this one has.

    The threat of a national boycott worked with Sears/K-Mart. It will either work here or I (and many others) will stop shopping at any Big Lots.
    No, the threat is premature. The OP hasn't even received a response about any corporate policy (or lack of a policy), and as I said in my previous post, it's quite possible that the email got lost in a cluttered inbox. He communicated via a method that is probably the least reliable when it comes to ensuring the recipient read the message.

    Now if he called the company and actually talked to someone who then blew him off (or told him they ban guns at all stores), then I'd agree. But again, we have zero confirmation of corporate policy (or lack) on this issue.

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    Then YOU don't boycott them. I a huge believer in Liberty. Feel free to exercise yours.

    However, In this almost exact set of circumstances, many members of OCDO emailed and phoned Sears/K-Mart and threatened a boycott. Sears/K-Mart almost immediately answered that they would follow the local and State law--what many of us here refer to as being gun-neutral.

    I (and, I assume, many others here) will use that same successful strategy, rather than waiting for a response to one person that will never come.

    Folks, email Big Lots. Tell them that you heard of the Indiana, PA event and are boycotting their stores until they adopt a gun-neutral policy--or don't, your choice.

    http://www.biglotscorporate.com/about/index.asp

    Select the "Contact Us" link on the left.

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by springfield24 View Post
    I sent a "nasty-gram" to their store manager and district manager.
    Why send a "nasty-gram"? Maybe you should have sent an "inquiry-gram" asking about their Corp. policy to the corporate office only. Maybe their response got caught in your junk mail and you didn't see it. Maybe they are the b-holes you think they are. Give them a call. Like the other guy said; vinegar and honey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4angrybadgers View Post
    No, the threat is premature. The OP hasn't even received a response about any corporate policy (or lack of a policy), and as I said in my previous post, it's quite possible that the email got lost in a cluttered inbox. He communicated via a method that is probably the least reliable when it comes to ensuring the recipient read the message.

    Now if he called the company and actually talked to someone who then blew him off (or told him they ban guns at all stores), then I'd agree. But again, we have zero confirmation of corporate policy (or lack) on this issue.
    Exactly.

    I get tired of the continued cries for boycotts, from people who were treated badly or rudely by some lower level store employee. Especially when they've taken no effective steps to resolve the situation and clarify corporate policy.

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    Sorry, follks, but I'm not going to boycott Big Lots - because the ones here where I live (and the few others across the state that I've been in) have no problem with me OCing as I shop the aisles for cheap stuff.

    If you have a problem with your local store, and you cannot get a decent/straight answer from your local manager, find out who the next level up is. Communicate with them.

    A hint: asking for help in resolving a misunderstanding is often better than dumping a complaint in their lap and expecting them to figure out what you want done. If OC is legal where you live and there were no signs posted, then you have a misunderstanding with the local manager. It's apparent from what the OP wrote that the misunderstanding is not going to be resolved at the local store level.

    So, since there is nothing that says OCing is illegal, and you are a bone fide law-abiding citizen, how can you go about ensuring your personal safety while shopping at Big Lots? (Anybody notice that I said not one word about whether or not the store was posted? Why give them hints?)

    stay safe.

  11. #11
    Regular Member 4angrybadgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Then YOU don't boycott them. I a huge believer in Liberty. Feel free to exercise yours.

    However, In this almost exact set of circumstances, many members of OCDO emailed and phoned Sears/K-Mart and threatened a boycott. Sears/K-Mart almost immediately answered that they would follow the local and State law--what many of us here refer to as being gun-neutral.

    I (and, I assume, many others here) will use that same successful strategy, rather than waiting for a response to one person that will never come.

    Folks, email Big Lots. Tell them that you heard of the Indiana, PA event and are boycotting their stores until they adopt a gun-neutral policy--or don't, your choice.

    http://www.biglotscorporate.com/about/index.asp

    Select the "Contact Us" link on the left.
    I'll say it once again, for clarity's sake (because I don't think you understand me). The OP sent a single email, never got a response, and assumes that they don't care about his question and the 2nd Amendment. How does he know that it was a deliberate brush-off? What if the managers didn't get the email? What if one intended to address the question, and then got sidetracked and forgot? These things happen with email, you know - especially with folks higher up the "totem pole" that may get a lot of email in a day. It's happened occasionally to me when emailing questions to coworkers - if I don't get a response in a reasonable time frame, I either email them again, send an instant message, or call them.

    If the OP really wants an answer, he should exercise a little effort, pick up the telephone, and call. Store manager, regional office, corporate, whatever you think is appropriate. But breaking out the tar and feathers because a single email wasn't answered is a ridiculous overreaction, without confirmation that it really is the fault of the Big Lots corporate policy (or lack thereof).

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4angrybadgers View Post
    I'll say it once again, for clarity's sake (because I don't think you understand me). The OP sent a single email, never got a response, and assumes that they don't care about his question and the 2nd Amendment. How does he know that it was a deliberate brush-off? What if the managers didn't get the email? What if one intended to address the question, and then got sidetracked and forgot? These things happen with email, you know - especially with folks higher up the "totem pole" that may get a lot of email in a day. It's happened occasionally to me when emailing questions to coworkers - if I don't get a response in a reasonable time frame, I either email them again, send an instant message, or call them.

    If the OP really wants an answer, he should exercise a little effort, pick up the telephone, and call. Store manager, regional office, corporate, whatever you think is appropriate. But breaking out the tar and feathers because a single email wasn't answered is a ridiculous overreaction, without confirmation that it really is the fault of the Big Lots corporate policy (or lack thereof).
    Maybe YOU are having trouble understanding me. I am suggesting folks contact corporate and boycott them while awaiting the response. The threat of an on-going boycott until corporate resolves the matter is what gets corporate to resolve the matter.

    Anyway, since you have started to throw around "not understanding," I'll just move on from the sub-discussion with you. I understood you perfectly. Perfectly.

  13. #13
    Regular Member MatieA's Avatar
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    I have sent an email to corporate asking for verification of their firearms policy and informed them that they have lost 2 families business until and unless this issue is resolved to show that the company will allow carry in their stores.
    If you do not test yourself every single day,
    then it is just another wasted day.
    --Semper Fi--

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    I like MatieA's approach. I agree with Eye95, but I also agree with 4angrybadgers.

    You shouldn't fly off the handle and call for a massive, nation wide boycott of a company without first trying to resolve the issue. However, Eye95 isn't advocating this, he is merely saying that we should make it known that we do not intend to shop there until their policies are clarified in an effort to avoid unwarranted confrontation and harassment by errant employees.

    I think sending a letter to corporate stating that you have been made aware of an issue where a friend/acquaintance of yours had been harassed and thrown out of the store by staff members/managers at X store over their legally carried handgun. That you were wondering what the company's policy on open carry is and if they do follow the law, then what they do to educate their associates so that incidents like this are exceedingly rare.
    Last edited by Jack House; 09-09-2010 at 07:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4angrybadgers View Post
    No, the threat is premature. The OP hasn't even received a response about any corporate policy (or lack of a policy), and as I said in my previous post, it's quite possible that the email got lost in a cluttered inbox. He communicated via a method that is probably the least reliable when it comes to ensuring the recipient read the message.

    Now if he called the company and actually talked to someone who then blew him off (or told him they ban guns at all stores), then I'd agree. But again, we have zero confirmation of corporate policy (or lack) on this issue.
    Actually, my complaint was via "snail-mail". I addressed a good ole' fashioned letter directly to the store manager and district managers locations. So, if the letter did end up on the bottom of a pile of other letters and junk mail, they've still had over a month to find it and respond to it. It seems much more likely that they received my letter and decided that responding to it wasn't worth their time

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4angrybadgers View Post
    I'll say it once again, for clarity's sake (because I don't think you understand me). The OP sent a single email, never got a response, and assumes that they don't care about his question and the 2nd Amendment. How does he know that it was a deliberate brush-off? What if the managers didn't get the email? What if one intended to address the question, and then got sidetracked and forgot? These things happen with email, you know - especially with folks higher up the "totem pole" that may get a lot of email in a day. It's happened occasionally to me when emailing questions to coworkers - if I don't get a response in a reasonable time frame, I either email them again, send an instant message, or call them.

    If the OP really wants an answer, he should exercise a little effort, pick up the telephone, and call. Store manager, regional office, corporate, whatever you think is appropriate. But breaking out the tar and feathers because a single email wasn't answered is a ridiculous overreaction, without confirmation that it really is the fault of the Big Lots corporate policy (or lack thereof).
    Alright, now allow me to say this for clarity's sake. I sent TWO letters, you know, those old school things where you put words on paper and then put that paper into an envelope to be delivered by the US Postal Service (AKA The Mail-Man). One letter went to their store manager, and one to their district manager. That's why I feel that I was ignored. I went ABOVE the store managers level, and still yet nothing was done.

    Also, "nasty-gram" is just a phrase I used for a complaint letter. I detailed the event, and politely suggested that they inform their employees of the law. I even offered to take time out of my day, free of charge, to come talk to their employees about OC.

    Now, since the store manager and district manager did not see fit to contact me with any type of reply, I have filed another complaint on their corporate website. Will anything be done? I haven't the slightest. BUT, the fact remains that I have been overlooked by two levels of the Big Lots chain of command. That, is why I will no longer be shopping there, even if they do begin to support OC.

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    You are acting most reasonably.

    Those who support OC should go to the Big Lots website and use the "Contact Us" link to tell corporate what they think of what happened in the Indiana, PA store--even if they won't be boycotting.

    Seriously, one of our own was turned out because he was OCing, and too many folks are not wanting to do anything! What a shame.

    If nothing else, please, just send a note.

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    At one time it was popular to carry some business cards that stated our position-in pictures.. When you were asked to leave could have just gave the manager one.

    In the case described it wouldnt seem that it would help as the card would have been filed in the round file.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I've OC'd in Big Lots in Greenville NC, Fayetteville NC, artinsburg, WV, Washington PA, and several locations in VA, and NEVER had a single issue. Once at the Greenville NC location, there were two Greenville City PD standing in front of me in line, and they never even blinked.

    The only comments I've had (from patrons or staff) at any Big Lots I've ever been to was positive, or curious.

    I'm a Graduate Student. I'm on a TIGHT budget. I get a lot of "daily use" junk (like paper towels, cleaning products, etc) at Big Lots. I understand your frustration, but I've been in a LOT of BigLots while OCing (and my standard OC rig is NOT subtle--a Para Ordnance S-14.45 with polished stainless slide and custom rosewood grips in a tan Serpa CQC) and it has never once been an issue at Big Lots in 4 different states.

    I hope you sort it out, but in MY experience, BigLots is one of the places I've felt welcome as an OCer. Even if I wasn't on a grad student budget, I'd still shop there, because they haven't been "anti-OC" in my experience...

    Maybe the rest of us can contact your local Big Lots and let them know that other Big Lots are OC-friendly, and that their stance against lawful carry is going to cost them money because it will get them on a national list of places to avoid for a group with several tens of thousands of members nationwide...


    I hope you get it sorted out. Be polite. Be firm. Be factual. And if that doesnt work, then be somewhere else for your shopping...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 09-08-2010 at 11:41 PM.
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    I, too, have OC'd at Big Lots without incident. I'll continue to shop at Big Lots. If I ever find myself in Indiana, PA, perhaps I'll reconsider.

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    Regular Member 4angrybadgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by springfield24 View Post
    Alright, now allow me to say this for clarity's sake. I sent TWO letters, you know, those old school things where you put words on paper and then put that paper into an envelope to be delivered by the US Postal Service (AKA The Mail-Man). One letter went to their store manager, and one to their district manager. That's why I feel that I was ignored. I went ABOVE the store managers level, and still yet nothing was done.

    Also, "nasty-gram" is just a phrase I used for a complaint letter. I detailed the event, and politely suggested that they inform their employees of the law. I even offered to take time out of my day, free of charge, to come talk to their employees about OC.

    Now, since the store manager and district manager did not see fit to contact me with any type of reply, I have filed another complaint on their corporate website. Will anything be done? I haven't the slightest. BUT, the fact remains that I have been overlooked by two levels of the Big Lots chain of command. That, is why I will no longer be shopping there, even if they do begin to support OC.
    Thank you for the clarification, I re-read your original post and can't figure out what made me think you had sent an email. My apologies.

    However, I will once more encourage you to call someone in the "chain of command". That may be all it takes to get their full attention on your complaint, and get it resolved. Emails, online complaints, and snail mail can all be easily tossed onto a "to-do later" stack and lost in the noise, but if you get through to a real live person it tends to get more results, faster.
    Last edited by 4angrybadgers; 09-09-2010 at 09:42 AM. Reason: never mind... arguments on the Internet aren't worth my time or energy

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    You are acting most reasonably.

    Those who support OC should go to the Big Lots website and use the "Contact Us" link to tell corporate what they think of what happened in the Indiana, PA store--even if they won't be boycotting.

    Seriously, one of our own was turned out because he was OCing, and too many folks are not wanting to do anything! What a shame.

    If nothing else, please, just send a note.
    Eye, makes a good point. We have tens of thousands of members on this forum, if each would only take the time to send in one e-mail to Big Lots corp. it might get something resolved. If you simply wish to ask for clarification of their policy, fine. If you wish to inform them you will be boycotting their stores until something is done, fine as well. The point is do something. I often on this forum hear the founding fathers quoted and praise heaped on them for their stand for freedom. They pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors for what they believed in, will you pledge an e-mail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I've OC'd in Big Lots in Greenville NC, Fayetteville NC, artinsburg, WV, Washington PA, and several locations in VA, and NEVER had a single issue. Once at the Greenville NC location, there were two Greenville City PD standing in front of me in line, and they never even blinked.

    The only comments I've had (from patrons or staff) at any Big Lots I've ever been to was positive, or curious.

    I'm a Graduate Student. I'm on a TIGHT budget. I get a lot of "daily use" junk (like paper towels, cleaning products, etc) at Big Lots. I understand your frustration, but I've been in a LOT of BigLots while OCing (and my standard OC rig is NOT subtle--a Para Ordnance S-14.45 with polished stainless slide and custom rosewood grips in a tan Serpa CQC) and it has never once been an issue at Big Lots in 4 different states.

    I hope you sort it out, but in MY experience, BigLots is one of the places I've felt welcome as an OCer. Even if I wasn't on a grad student budget, I'd still shop there, because they haven't been "anti-OC" in my experience...

    Maybe the rest of us can contact your local Big Lots and let them know that other Big Lots are OC-friendly, and that their stance against lawful carry is going to cost them money because it will get them on a national list of places to avoid for a group with several tens of thousands of members nationwide...


    I hope you get it sorted out. Be polite. Be firm. Be factual. And if that doesn't work, then be somewhere else for your shopping...
    But will you help?

    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    I, too, have OC'd at Big Lots without incident. I'll continue to shop at Big Lots. If I ever find myself in Indiana, PA, perhaps I'll reconsider.
    Can you take the time to help out someone who shares your desire to carry in Big Lots. It'll probably take less time than it did to post this.

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    Thanks SavageOne. Your screen name notwithstanding , you made the point I was making with so much more tact and much less savagely than I.

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    Wow, I'm quite surprised at the response this has gotten.

    I feel as though my call for a full-on boycott might have been a bit hasty. I'm sure that in other areas people can OC with no problem. Clearly, it's not the stores policy, but the view of the employee(s) that determines how one will be treated.

    I suppose that the better alternative would be simply to email them from their corporate site and ask for clarification or just gripe a little. If you have had a good experience with your local Big Lots, then continue to shop there.

    The most important thing that I want to say about this is thank you. To all of you who rallied behind my "cry for blood", and all of you who felt an alternative method would be appropriate. I'm proud to be part of the OC community!

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    I have to admit I am a bit confused by the response of some of the members of this forum. When the call went out from springfield24 for help getting some clarification(and if not then a boycott) from Big Lots on it's firearm policy, the response was less than enthusiastic. Fast forward a day or so and another call goes out to boycott Toys R Us. Suddenly many are up in arms and pledging their help. What is the difference between the two? Is it easier to say you won't support a toy store than it is to say the same for a store you may frequent more? Personally I will support both endeavors and hope others will as well

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