Ollie’s offers eclectic stock, low pricesWritten by Paige Shermis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, an eclectic discount big-box store, officially opened in Toledo on May 22. This is the chain’s first area location.
The new store is located at 5860 Lewis Ave., Toledo, off of Alexis Road.
The Toledo Ollie’s is the rapidly growing chain’s 138th store. The company was started in 1982 in Mechanicsburg, Penn., and has locations in 13 states, with 15 more stores opening this year.
“The reason we can offer our terrific brand name products at such low, low prices unlike anywhere else is the fact that we shop all across America, and in other parts of the world, for great bargains from great retailers who have overstocks, from manufacturers who may have made too much product, another company maybe discontinuing merchandise or maybe distressed merchandise from a fire sale that is salable,” said Ollie’s Director of New Stores Dave Campbell.
Ollie’s stocks a wide variety of merchandise, he said.
“Ollie’s sells just about anything you can think of. You’ll see, if you look around our store, that we carry books, food, sporting goods, lawn and garden, furniture; we sell toys; we have clothing, and all at fabulous prices,” Campbell said.
Peter Ries, team leader, agreed.
“We have great value and unique items every single day, and it’s just a unique shopping experience. … You don’t know what you’re going to find, and it’s value in every area,” he said.
Customer Mary Ann Hierholzer said that there was a difference between Ollie’s and other large retail locations. She added that Ollie’s seemed “a little cheaper” than other merchandisers.
Besides adding variety to the Toledo retail market, the new Ollie’s created 50 jobs, Ries said.
The store’s grand opening took place 9 a.m. May 22 with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.
Outside of the store, a beaming, mustachioed inflatable head of late vice president and company namesake Oliver “Ollie” Rosenberg silently greeted and enticed new customers.
The inside of the location is plastered with cartoon caricatures of Rosenberg. Toward the front of the store is the “7 ½ Commandments of Ollie’s,” with the first commandment stating that the customer is always right.
The store was bustling with customers eager to see the new store during the grand opening.
“I just thought I’d check it out since it was something new,” Hierholzer said.
Many in the crowd were also there to meet Gaylord Perry, an inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame and Cy Young award-winner who was available for autographs and pictures. Two-hundred-and-fifty meet-and-greet tickets were available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“We do this quite frequently. … We’ll bring a celebrity to meet the community, and bring people into the store to meet them and see our great selection of merchandise,” Campbell said.
Ollie’s success in obtaining good relationships with a wide variety of vendors comes from the company’s trustworthiness, Campbell said.
“[Ollie’s has] all sorts of contacts with various vendors that know that Ollie’s is a great place to do business with. … We are very honest, and we pay our bills on time,” Campbell said.
“Because of that, they come and find us when they have product that they need to get rid of. They know that we will take great care of them, and we will both get a good deal.”
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