By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. —
Despite the snow, more than 100 early birds flocked to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet to be among the first customers at the store’s new location in Tazewell County.
Customers were out in the parking lot before 8:30 a.m. to get in line for the grand opening of the new store. Employees officially opened the new store with a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. and were presented with a plaque honoring their first dollar earned in Bluefield, Va. by Debbie Bowman with the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce.
John Melnick, regional manager for Ollie’s Bargain Outlets, said the new Bluefield, Va. store is the tenth store the company has in Virginia. Melnick said the company has four West Virginia locations.
“Honestly, Bluefield is a great little town,” Melnick said. “We have a lot of success in smaller communities. The early response has been very powerful and we had a lot of people at our soft opening over the weekend. We say at Ollie’s that everyone always wants a bargain, and people here have been great. It’s very exciting.”
Melnick said there will be initially between 50 and 75 employees at the Bluefield, Va. store, though the number could fluctuate as time progresses.
Following the ribbon cutting, customers perused the store and mingled with the company’s mascot, Ollie himself, who wore a bright Hawaiian shirt despite the snowy weather. Others came to meet NASCAR driver Jeff Burton, who signed autographs for fans during the opening.
Bluefield, Va. mayor, Don Harris said residents in the town have “long anticipated” the store’s opening.
“This will be great for the town and the whole area,” Harris said. “We now have the closest branch in the region. They said they were elated to come to Bluefield and we said we were just as excited to have them here. We look forward to a long, prosperous partnership with Ollie’s.”
Ollie’s has 133 locations, specializing in the sale of recently discontinued, overstocked, closeout, and salvage merchandise.