Written by Nic Fraraccio // Photo by Macy Cox
One of America’s largest retailers of closeout merchandise and excess inventory is opening a new store in Searcy.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is an American retail outlet chain that sells merchandise and household appliances under the motto “Good Stuff Cheap.” Ollie’s offers merchandise at up to 70% off in 15 main store departments.
The store will be located on Race Avenue inside the former Natural State Throwers building. Ollie’s currently owns 476 stores in the country, and the new Searcy location will be the sixth Ollie’s store in Arkansas.
Based out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the company is coming off one of the most successful years in its 20-year history. The company opened 15 new stores and ended with a year-over-year increase in store count by 8.7%.
Ollie’s use of manufacturing closeouts and overstocks could give them a unique advantage against their retail competition. When manufacturers overstock certain items, Ollie’s will buy these items and sell them at their own stores. Customers can find merchandise from many name-brand products.
Harding students and faculty have already shown interest in the new retail outlet. Sophomore Hazel Jackson, who has shopped at Ollie’s before, said Ollie’s will serve as a helpful clothing source for students at the University.
“As a college student, it’s hard finding financial stability on your own for the first time, so having thrift stores and second-hand shops to find the stuff you need is always helpful if you’re trying to save a little bit of cash,” Jackson said.
Associate professor of business Glen Metheny said he hopes Ollie’s can help Harding students find clothes and appliances for a reasonable price.
“You get what you pay for, and if the quality of the products at Ollie’s is really good, then you might find some great bargains,” Metheny said. “And who doesn’t like to bargain hunt and bargain shop?”
Junior Fernando Vides likes to spend some of his free time going to thrift shops and outlet stores. Vides said he plans to visit Ollie’s because it can provide students with an efficient way to collect good clothing.
“You can find stuff in really good condition,” Vides said. “It’s good quality, it’s cheap and it’s sustainable.”
The store is currently undergoing renovations to install new flooring. Products and merchandise have not been moved to the new store location. As construction continues, there is no official date for when the store will be open to the public.