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Ollie's Opens 1st Location in Wisconsin

Discount retailer delivering consistent financial results as it invests in future growth
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Ollies Bargain Outlet store
Ollie's currently operates 520 locations.

The ever-expanding Ollie's Bargain Outlet Inc. is celebrating a growth milestone with the grand opening of a new store in Wisconsin, its 31st state. The Kenosha location officially opened on June 19.

"We are so excited to open our very first store in the great state of Wisconsin, where the folks have been so good to us," said John Swygert, president and CEO of Ollie's Bargain Outlet. "As we enter our 31st state, we're thrilled to provide shoppers in Kenosha and its surrounding areas with a treasure-hunt experience where they can find a huge selection of brand-name merchandise at up to 70% off the fancy stores' prices every day."

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The extreme retailer currently operates 520 stores in 31 states. Ollies will open two more stores on June 26: one in Cortland, N.Y., and another in DeKalb, Ill. 

Ollie's brings about 50-60 new jobs to the local community with each new store that it opens, ranging from cashiers to assistant managers. It employs more than 10,000 associates across the company.

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Meanwhile, the retailer recently reported better-than-expected financial results its first quarter ended May 4. Ollie's total net sales grew 10.8% to $508.8 million. Comparable-store sales increased 3.0% from the prior year's increase of 4.5%. 

Operating income at Ollie's jumped 46.6% to $56.5 million, and operating margin increased 270 basis points to 11.1%. Net income soared 49.6% to $46.3 million, or 75 cents per diluted share. Adjusted net income increased 47.0% to $45.2 million, or 73 cents per diluted share, while adjusted EBITDA grew 40.3% to $69.4 million and adjusted EBITDA margin improved 280 basis points to 13.6%.

“Our unique business model is delivering exceptional values on the branded merchandise that our customers want and need, at prices 20% to 70% below the fancy stores,” noted Swygert. “Everyone loves a bargain, and bargain is our middle name.” 

The company ended Q1 with a year-over-year increase in store count of 8.4%. Ollie's anticipates opening 48 new stores during FY2024.

In other company news, Swygert will step down from his president and CEO position and transition to the role of executive chairman in early 2025. Ollie's has already promoted Eric van der Valk, EVP and COO, to the role of president, and he will become CEO when Swygert takes on the executive chairman role next year.

Harrisburg, Pa.-based Ollie's is America's largest retailer of closeout merchandise and excess inventory. Departments include housewares, food, books and stationery, bed and bath, floor coverings, toys, health and beauty aids, and more. 

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