Working at Big 5 Sporting Goods | Glassdoor

Big 5 Sporting Goods Overview

El Segundo, CA
5001 to 10000 employees
Company - Public (BGFV)
$1 to $2 billion (USD) per year

Working at Big 5 Sporting Goods

Big 5 Sporting Goods has outgrown its name. The company, which started out with five army surplus shops in California in 1955, is a leading sporting goods retailer with over 400 stores in eleven western states, including California, Washington, and Arizona. The company sells ... Read more

Mission: Throughout our 62-year history, we at Big 5 have focused on value, service, and integrity in our efforts to provide quality sporting goods products to our customers. Big 5 Sporting Goods has developed a reputation with the competitive and recreational sports enthusiast as a ... Read more

Big 5 Sporting Goods – Why Work For Us?

Big 5 Sporting Goods is one of America's top retailers of name brand sporting goods and accessories. As of January 1, 2017, Big 5 had 433 locations spread throughout 11 western states and you can find a convenient location near you using our Store Locator.

We provide a full-line product offering in a traditional sporting goods store format that averages approximately 11,000 square feet. Our product mix includes athletic shoes, apparel and accessories, as well as a broad selection of outdoor and athletic equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting, fishing, tennis, golf,winter and summer recreation and roller sports.

Big 5 Founded in 1955

Big 5 was founded in September 1955 by Maurie I. Liff, Harry A. Liff and Robert W. Miller, father of current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steven G. Miller. The Company originally operated five stores in downtown Los Angeles, Burbank, Inglewood, Glendale, and San Jose, California under the trade name "Big 5 Stores."

In our early years, Big 5 concentrated on World War II army surplus items, as well as tents and air mattresses the Company manufactured itself, plus assorted house wares and hand tools. From the earliest days of the chain Big 5 used print advertisements. Consistently advertising on the back page of the main news section of the Los Angeles Times, our customers grew accustomed to looking there for weekly specials. Sporting goods soon became part of the product mix, a natural for the highly active population of Southern California. In fact, sports merchandise became so popular that management decided to specialize in it, and in December, of 1963 we changed our trade name to "Big 5 Sporting Goods."

Thrifty Drug Stores Acquires Big 5 in 1971

By March 1971, Big 5 had grown to 19 stores, at which point the Company was acquired by Thrifty Drug Stores, the West Coast's largest chain of drug stores. Big 5 operated as a subsidiary of Thrifty for the next 21 years. With Robert Miller still leading the Company he helped found, Big 5 continued to prosper. By 1992, Big 5 had grown to 140 stores in California, Nevada, and Washington. To support our growth, the company built a 440,000 square foot distribution center in Fontana, California that was twice the size of our previous facility.

Big 5 Is Acquired By Leonard Green & Partners in 1992

In 1992, Company management acquired Big 5 in conjunction with Leonard Green & Partners, a Los Angeles private equity firm. Robert Miller continued as CEO and Chairman of Big 5, while his son, Steven, was named President and Chief Operating Officer. During the first year following the change of ownership, Big 5 opened ten stores, followed by 15 in both 1993 and 1994, and 19 units in 1995. In the process of expansion, the chain entered the new markets of Arizona and Idaho in 1993, and New Mexico, Oregon, and Texas in 1995.

Management Acquires Controlling Stake in 1997

In November 1997, the Millers led a management effort to acquire a controlling interest in the company by raising $250 million. With this transaction, many of the chain's employees now had a financial interest in the company and a renewed commitment to make Big 5 Sporting Goods prosper.

Big 5 Goes Public in 2002

In June 2002, Big 5 held an initial public offering (IPO), resulting in over $100 million being raised to finance future growth. Management planned to continue our strategy of controlled expansion, especially in markets beyond California. To accommodate this growth, in 2005 Big 5 opened a nearly one million square foot automated, state-of-the-art distribution center in Riverside, California. Today, Big 5 Sporting Goods continues to grow and prosper by maintaining our core strategy of providing convenient shopping and low prices.

At Big 5 Sporting Goods exceptional bargains on merchandise are not the only opportunities we provide. Our diverse work environment offers a variety of opportunities for employment.

Whether you are a career-minded professional looking for management opportunities, a sales or cashiering specialist looking for full time employment, or a student looking for an exciting part time job, Big 5 has an opportunity for you. Also, if you live in the greater Los Angeles area, periodic openings for clerical and administrative positions may occur at our headquarter facility located in El Segundo, California.

Seeking career driven individuals for the Management Trainee position in all locations with the high demand in the following areas

  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Central Coast California Area
  • Greater San Diego-North County Area
  • Eastside/Bellevue Washington Area
  • Phoenix Metropolitan Area
  • Southeast Denver, Pueblo and Parker Area

Big 5 Sporting Goods Reviews

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146 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    "Great Company!"

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Big 5 Sporting Goods part-time


    Great co-workers and great management. Very flexible schedules.


    Nothing I can think of at the time. I'm having a great experience.

    Advice to Management

    Keep being a good management team!

See All 473 Reviews

Big 5 Sporting Goods Photos

Big 5 Sporting Goods photo of: Shoe Wall
Big 5 Sporting Goods photo of: Store
Big 5 Sporting Goods photo of: Breakroom
Big 5 Sporting Goods photo of: One of Eight Stock Room Shelves
Big 5 Sporting Goods photo of: Apperal
Big 5 Sporting Goods photo of: storefront
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Big 5 Sporting Goods Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Sales Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redlands, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Big 5 Sporting Goods (Redlands, CA) in September 2017.


    The interview process was very easy. I went into a small room in the back with the manager of the store I was interviewing at, (The store I was applying to was not built yet but they were hiring early), we then sat down and he asked me some questions about my schooling, (I had no work experience), and he asked some questions about certain things on my application like about certain sports that I said I do, and other things like why I want to work there, and for the most part of the interview he explained that I would be working at the new store and that they are hiring early to get the training done, etc. They basically are just looking for someone who has no problem speaking out, and presenting a friendly attitude. He said afterwords that he would call me on Friday, and so he did.

    Interview Questions

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