The store offers discount, liquidated, overstocked, refurbished and “irregular” merchandise.

PARKER — Rick Rice was all smiles as he walked out of the new Ollie’s Bargain Outlet store in Parker on Wednesday morning with a new Sanyo 40-inch flat-screen television.

The store, a retailer of closeouts, excess inventory and salvage merchandise, gave out 19 tickets for the TVs, which were sold for $159.99.

 

Rice was almost disappointed. He drove from his home in Youngstown for the grand opening at 406 S. Tyndall Parkway to snag one of the sets, only to discover a line of people outside “the length of a football field.” By the time he made it through the block-line long, all 19 tickets had been handed out. However, someone who got one at the last minute decided not to buy the television and instead gave him their ticket.

“The TV I’ve got is in a console bought in 1975,” he said with a chuckle. “I figured it ain’t going to last a whole lot longer.”

Rice said he was impressed by the other deals offered in the store, and he planned to come back.

“I think it’s pretty neat,” he said. “I’m going to have to make sure my wife goes through it with me some time.”

Parker Mayor Rich Musgrave was among those who visited the store on opening day. He said 40 to 50 Parker residents had complained to Ollie’s about its ads saying the store was in Callaway, when the address actually is in Parker. He said the city will benefit from the new jobs and the share it receives of the store’s sales tax revenues and utility purchases. 

“We don’t have an ad valorem tax in Parker, so none of the residents or businesses pay property taxes that go to the city,” Musgrave said.

Like Rice, Musgrave said he was impressed by the store and that he never has seen the parking lot as full as it was Wednesday.

“I did share with the district manager that I thought it was an interesting concept,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of businesses like that on the east side of town. I thought because of Tyndall (being close) and the number of retired military folks living here that it would do quite well.”

The Tyndall Parkway location is Ollie’s first in Bay County, with the nearest of the chain’s 268 locations in Niceville, Pensacola and Dothan, Alabama. The company, with a motto that it sells “Good Stuff Cheap,” touts itself as one of the country’s largest retailers of closeout merchandise and excess inventory. When people buy something in the store — anything from housewares to sporting goods, clothing, flooring and even drones — and the product sells out, it might never be back there again.

“Ollie’s buyers scour the world looking for closeouts, overstocks, package changes, manufacturer refurbished goods, and irregulars,” the company’s website states.

Ollie’s also has liquidated major retail centers, working very closely with financial institutions, the company’s website states.

“When companies liquidate, the banks will often dispose of remaining inventories and turn them into cash.”

 

Benjamin Newman, co-manager of the Parker store, said the store has hired 60 people, including nine full-time employees.

He said the great deals on name-brand items are what makes the store stand out.

“We usually buy from the manufacturer,” he said. “We do get direct shipments from certain (companies) for products like flooring.”

The store was offering a wide range of specials Wednesday, such as “slightly irregular” name-brand jeans for $7.

Jerry Mitchell, who lives across the street from the new store, went in to buy an iron for a friend who was out of town. He said he planned to come back to shop.

“I do see some items I’d like to have that are a little cheaper than most places I have seen them,” he said.