Ollie’s reports first-quarter drop in net sales

Citing inflation and other factors that hurt business, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings Inc. reported a double-digit drop in first-quarter net sales and gross profit.  

The Harrisburg-based discount retailer said total net sales decreased 10.1%, to $406.7 million, and gross profit declined 22.6%, to $141.3 million. In addition, comparable store sales fell 17.3% from a year ago; operating income slipped 75.9%; and net income was 77.3% less.  

Ollie’s opened nine stores and closed one (in connection with a relocation), ending the first quarter with 439 stores in 29 states. That was a 10.6% higher count than the year before.  

“We were pleased with our first-quarter results given that we were up against headwinds including strong stimulus-induced sales a year ago, cooler weather (that) impacted sales of our seasonal products, and a consumer faced with significantly higher inflation, particularly on gas and food,” John Swygert, president and CEO, said in a release. “Our current sales trends have improved meaningfully in the second quarter fueled by increased demand for warm weather seasonal products, combined with our incredible deals and strong inventory position. We are doubling down on our efforts to offer great value as consumers continue to feel inflationary pressures, although we have not yet seen the full benefit of consumers trading down.”  

Swygert added, “Looking ahead … we remain confident that our business model can support at least 1,050 stores and that our long-term outlook continues to be intact.”  

Ollie’s now projects 2022 total net sales of $1.87 billion to $1.9 billion; comparable store sales of -2% to even; and expects to open 46 to 48 stores, including two relocations.  

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer 

Ollie’s looks to hire for 2,000 positions nationwide through one-day hiring event

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet will be looking to fill 2,000 positions nationwide during a hiring event next week.

The Harrisburg-based closeout retailer announced on Wednesday that it will be hiring for positions across its over 400 store locations, three distribution centers – in York, Pennsylvania; Commerce, Georgia, and Lancaster, Texas – and its store support center in Harrisburg.

Ollie’s local distribution center in York alone will be seeking 100 new team members for all positions, including distribution associates and reach-truck operators.
The nationwide hiring event will be held June 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“It’s an exciting time for Ollie’s as we continue to expand our store presence across the country. This year alone we have opened 20 new stores with 30 more slated to open by the end of 2021,” said John Swygert, president and CEO of Ollie’s.

“Our June 15 hiring event opens the door to add new team members to our amazing company who want to start to build their career at one of the fastest growing retailers in the country.”

Last month, the outlet opened its 400th store as part of a strategy to open 1,050 locations in the coming years.

Ollie’s opened 46 new stores in fiscal 2020 and saw its store sales increase by 15.6%. Ollie’s total net sales increased by 28.4% to $1.8 billion dollars and its net income increased 72% to $242.7 million.

The chain currently employs approximately 10,000 associates. The additional 2,000 positions include full-time, part-time, seasonal and leadership positions.