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Ollie’s Bargain Outlet opening in Natchez Mall

NATCHEZ — Ollie’s Bargain Outlet — a retailer of closeout and salvage merchandise — is opening a new store in Natchez.

Last week, construction crews began tearing down the entrance to the former J.C. Penney store at the Natchez Mall and hung a banner announcing the future store.

Natchez Mall Manager Marie Lofton said the store hopes to open in the fall, possibly in October.

She said the store would occupy approximately 80-percent of the former J.C. Penney space.  J.C. Penney closed its Natchez store in May 2014.

“They gutted the whole building and are redoing it,” Lofton said. “We are excited about them opening.”

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is a chain of stores that deal in surplus merchandise obtained from closeout, bankruptcy sales and retailers who sell merchandise at below wholesale costs.

“It is my understanding they are like an upscale Big Lots,” Lofton said.

The company prides itself on selling “good stuff cheap.” Products sold in stores include housewares, food, bed and bath items, floor coverings, hardware and toys. Products are sold up to 70 percent below department and specialty stores and up to 20-50 percent below mass-market retailers.

The original Ollie’s store was founded in 1982 in Mechanicsburg, Pa., founded by four men, including Oliver Rosenberg, for which the store is named and Mark Butler, the current President and CEO. 

The chain operates 244 stores in 20 states. The company opened up its first store in Mississippi last year in Meridian.

Since 2011, the company has seen net sales increase from $390 million to $762 million in 2015 — an increase of 17.8 percent. In that same time period the number of stores grew from 111 to 203 stores.

The company told investors in September 2016 they see the potential to grow to 950 stores in the future.

An initial public offering was launched on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol OLLI on July 16, 2015 at $16 per share. Stocks were trading at $41 per share at the close of the market Monday. For more information about the company, visit ollies.us.

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