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Thursday September 23rd, 2021 4:21PM

How summer deals sizzle at extreme discount stores

By Alyson Shields Reporter

The heat of the summer can push people indoors, often into stores to spend either a lazy, hot day, or to get the essential errands done.

But the activity of shopping costs money, and not everyone wants to spend a lot. That's where the extreme discount store comes in.

Ollie's Bargain Outlet, which is based in Pennsylvania, has a location in Oakwood, as well as a distribution center in Commerce. Vice President of Store Operations Scott Osborne said Ollie's follows a common method: buy cheap and sell cheap.

"Our buyers go out and scour the world and have these great relationships with a lot of their vendors so they're able to really negotiate a brand at a very low price," said Osborne. "So what we're able to do in the discount world, especially the extreme discount world... we're able to transfer that to the consumer during the store interaction."

Osborne said they aim for 40%-70% off prices from "what we call 'Those Fancy Stores.'"

Unfamiliar shoppers may be hesitant about the shopping experience. First, Osborne said don't be put off by the discount store aesthetic. And, while they don't accept coupons, they do have an active loyalty program for additional discounts and deals.

But, how good are the goods? Are the closeout merchandise and excess inventory stock in extreme discount stores a bang for your buck? 

"Most of our goods are first run goods anyway, these are unopened packages and boxes that just never hit other retail shelves," said Osborne. "The manufacturer had an over abundance of it, another retailer canceled it, a business went out of business - for instance, we had a big surge back in '18 when Toys R Us went out of business. That toy business really was able to transfer to Ollie's."

The real game changer about extreme discount stores? It's the thrill of the hunt. Osborne said they typically don't get the same things twice.

"We like to say, 'If you miss a day, you miss a deal,'" he said. "Our prices are our prices. We don't do these sale prices, get you in the door then raise the price the next week. So if you see it at Ollie's, you've got to get it today because it may possibly be gone tomorrow, and you may never see that same item at Ollie's again."

And North Georgia shoppers do benefit slightly from having the Ollie's Distribution Center in Commerce.

"First of all, our transportation costs are lower there. Once it hits, whether it's from the Savannah port or the manufacturer or the broker and hits our distribution door, we can get it to you locally in that Atlanta and MSA (Metro), if you will, a lot faster than if that truck has to go up to Indiana, per se, which may be a two-day load."

Aside from the Oakwood store, there's also locations in Toccoa, Athens, Duluth and Snellville. 

Ollie's is hosting a nationwide hiring event Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at all stores, distribution centers and at headquarters. 

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Commerce, oakwood, Ollie's, shopping, Ollie's Bargain Outlet
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