The nation’s largest retailer of closeout merchandise, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, plans to enter the Long Island market with two stores by fall of next year, the chain said.
The retailer will open a store in Selden in November and a store in Riverhead in fall 2024, said Ollie’s spokesman Tom Kuypers, who added that each will employ 30 to 50 people.
“We’re excited about the [Long Island] market. We think it has huge potential for us,” he said.
The Selden store will open in a 32,000-square-foot space at 323 Middle Country Rd. that was formerly occupied by a T.J. Maxx, said Greg Batista, a vice president in Ripco Real Estate’s Queens office who represented the landlord in leasing. The T.J. Maxx relocated to Port Jefferson Station in 2017.
Also, Ollie’s has signed a lease to open a 36,000-square-foot store at 765 Old Country Rd. in Riverhead, Kuypers said. The space is a portion of a former Walmart store that relocated in Riverhead in 2014.
Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings Inc. sells closeout and excess merchandise, including health and beauty products, clothes, housewares, furniture, toys and groceries at discounts of up to 70%, the retailer said.
Founded in 1982, Ollie’s acquires its merchandise from manufacturers, wholesalers and other retailers that want to get rid of products for various reasons, such as items being discontinued or not selling well at regular prices.
Ollie’s, which has 28 stores in New York State, will open its 500th store in the country and enter its 30th state this week with a new store in Iowa City. The chain opens about 50 stores annually and set a goal four years ago to reach 1,050 stores, Kuypers said.
In choosing where to open to new stores, “the value-oriented retailer” looks for good real estate rent prices, which can be challenging to find on Long Island, he said.
High inflation has played a role in Ollie’s growth over the last two years as Ollie’s draws more new customers looking to trade down to cheaper goods, he said.
“As people are looking for ways to save money and stretch their dollars …. that is opening up new markets to us and new people that may not have shopped at Ollie’s previously,” said Kuypers, who said the retailer is attracting younger and higher-income shoppers more now than in the past.
Ollie’s performs well financially and has had mostly consistent growth since becoming publicly traded in 2015, said Jeremy Hamblin, senior research analyst at Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC in Minneapolis.
The retailer maintains strong relationships with wholesalers and other retailers to keep constant product streams in place, he said.
“There is a consistency to the types of goods that you are going to have in there, but it’s not a guarantee that you’re going to have a consistent product in there” because the product mix changes often, he said.
Ollie’s financial results in its second fiscal quarter, which ended July 29, were better than the chain had expected, leading it to raise its sales and earnings projections for the year, the retailer said.
“For the quarter, net sales increased 13.7% to $515 million, driven by a 7.9% increase in … sales [at stores open at least one year] and new-store unit growth, Rob Helm, Ollie’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, told analysts during an earnings call in August.