I like this story about Ollie’s, a fast growing retail outlet that sells nothing online and focuses on selling “Brands at drastically reduced prices.” It reminds me of Building 19 which used to sell “Good Stuff Cheap!” The trick was not to go in looking for something, but to just go in and come across something at a too good to resist price. My mom loved Building 19 and the stock market and even to this day is always careful with her money. At Forbes, Abram Brown reports on the success of Ollie’s:
Sometimes when an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet opens, the crowd can get large—particularly if Ollie’s arranges for a Nascar star or MLB player to visit—and law enforcement is needed to help manage the situation. By contrast, everyone on this wintery March day is well behaved, not a race-car driver or slugger in sight, leaving the deputy to contemplate the gigantic bin of plush, chicken-size Peeps (price: 99 cents), shelves of Farberware cookware sets ($39.99) and pallet of four-quart bags of Earthgro potting soil (also 99 cents).
The CEO, chairman, president and cofounder of Ollie’s is Mark Butler, a slightly built man with a big mustache and graying hair silvering over to white. When he walks in around 10, he is almost indistinguishable from his customers. Butler, 60, has attended every one of Ollie’s first 104 openings, but it’s harder to get to them these days with Ollie’s rolling out almost 40 a year. “Looks good,” he says, a group of lieutenants gathering around him. “Parking lot is very, very full.” Something is off, though. “Turn the music down a bit.” The Kinks can be heard, clearly, through the store’s public-address system. “What station do we have on?” Soon the tunes get softer and more modern. (“Something like the radio bothers the daylights out of me,” he admits.)
Moving through the store, Butler notes what’s selling. “This is hot,” he says, examining a dwindling supply of Chefman air fryers. The display of Hatchimals—Furby-like creatures in an egg, the hit toy of Christmas 2016—earns similar praise: “Hot.” And he is pleased with the weighted blankets (a super-heavy comforter meant to keep sleepers from rolling around) near the front door. “This is hot—with three Ts.” Hottt. “We can’t keep it in stock. They’ll be gone in a few hours.”
Read more here.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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