Grocery Outlet to open store in Lebanon

Grocery Outlet Bargain Market will open its newest location Dec. 8 in Lebanon with a groundbreaking/ribbon-cutting ceremony.

A release from the discount grocer said the store at 1301 Quentin Road, North Cornwall Township, will help create up to 35 jobs.

Grocery Outlet said it offers lower prices by finding the top manufacturers with excess inventory and seasonal closeouts. Its stores are independently operated by local families.

“We are so thrilled to be a part of the Lebanon community and provide big savings on quality groceries,” Bob and Kimberlie Jackson, operators of the Lebanon Grocery Outlet, said in the release. “This partnership with Grocery Outlet gives us the ability to grow our business, create new jobs and more importantly, give back to the local community.”

The Jacksons have donated $1,000 to Lebanon County Christian Ministries.

The first 100 customers 18 years or older attending the ribbon-cutting will receive Grocery Outlet Bliss Buck gift cards ranging from $5 to $500. Shoppers will also get a limited-edition reusable bag while supplies last.

Emeryville, California-based Grocery Outlet, a third-generation family-led business, has more than 400 locations throughout California, Idaho, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.

In central Pennsylvania, there are single stores in Palmyra, New Cumberland, Manheim, Hanover, Chambersburg and New Holland and two each in Lancaster and York.

Stores offer a full range of products, including fresh produce, meat, deli and dairy, along with a wide assortment of natural and organic choices. Grocery Outlet also carries a large selection of beer and wine, health and beauty care products, and seasonal items.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

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.