Extreme-Value Retailer Donates $640K+ to Feeding America

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet supports 100+ local food banks
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Extreme-Value Retailer Donates $640K to Feeding America
Ollie’s raised more than $640,000 for Feeding America through an in-store fundraising campaign during February and March.

The increased need for food banks during the pandemic has motivated Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Inc. to raise more than $640,000 through a recent in-store fundraising campaign that benefits more than 100 Feeding America member food banks in the communities that Ollie’s serves.

“We began this partnership with Feeding America last year to support an immediate need in our communities at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said John Swygert, president and CEO of Ollie’s. “After what has been a challenging year for so many families, we wanted to renew this partnership in 2021 to continue providing support to local food banks and people in need.”

Proceeds collected at the 390 participating Ollie's locations will be donated to 109 member food banks across the company's footprint.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 42 million people, including more than 13 million children, may face hunger in the U.S. in 2021,” noted Lauren Biedron, VP of corporate partnerships at Chicago-based Feeding America. “We are thankful to Ollie’s for helping Feeding America member food banks provide more meals to neighbors during this time of increased need.”

Founded in 1982, Ollie’s is one of America’s largest retailers of closeouts and excess inventory. Known for its signature catchphrase, “Good Stuff Cheap,” the retailer offers a variety of famous brand-name merchandise in every department – food, books, housewares, toys, electronics, domestics, clothing, furniture, health and beauty, flooring, seasonal items, and more – at up to 70% off other stores’ prices.

Ollie’s recently reported financials for fourth quarter. Its total net sales increased 22.1% to $515.8 million. Operating income rose 31.2% to $84.7 million. Adjusted EBITDA increased 32.9% to $92.1 million, and adjusted EBITDA margin increased 150 basis points to 17.9%.

“We delivered a record fourth-quarter performance, capping off the best full-year results in Ollie’s 38-year history,” said Swygert. “Sales increased 22%, driven by new store growth, exceptional productivity and an 8.8% comparable-store sales increase. This strong top-line sales growth, combined with gross margin expansion and tight expense control, drove 31% adjusted EPS growth in the quarter.”

For fiscal 2020, the retailer reported that total net sales increased 28.4% to $1.809 billion, while comps increased 15.6%.

“Throughout this year, we successfully leveraged our expertise and relationships in the closeout industry to secure the very best deals for our customers’ changing needs,” said Swygert. “Our deal flow remains as strong as ever, and we will continue to choose only the best deals for our customers. Comparable-store sales growth is tracking in the high-single digits quarter-to-date. We are pleased with our current sales trends and believe we are well positioned to deliver solid first-quarter performance. We feel great about the underlying business trends and will continue to manage our business with the same resolve and flexibility that drove our success in fiscal 2020. Based on our proven business model, our strong financial position, and the opportunities in front of us, we are bullish on our ability to drive profitable growth and deliver on our long-term growth algorithm into the future. It is this confidence and our ongoing commitment to increasing shareholder value that has us excited to announce another $100 million increase in our share-buyback program.”

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based Ollie’s has 395 stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

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