Despite the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, and all that it entails, there were still several people that showed up to take part in the grand opening of the brand new Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in Corbin Wednesday morning.
The opening was announced well before the COVID-19 virus was declared as a global pandemic, and well before Gov. Andy Beshear ordered many places of business in the state of Kentucky to temporarily close their doors. Originally, NASCAR champion Tony Stewart was supposed to be on hand to help celebrate the event, but it was recently announced that he would no longer be appearing.
Regional Director Michael Clark explained Wednesday that the new Ollie’s location was able to still move ahead with their grand opening because they carry items that are deemed essential to the health and well-being of people in the community.
“We’re here to support the community,” Clark said. “In these times that we’re operating in right now, I think we’d all agree that they’re very challenging. It’s new to all of us, but the one thing that we’re all committed to is supporting the communities that we operate in.”
“Kentucky has been very good to us,” Clark continued. “And we want to make sure that we’re here to support their needs. As you walk through the store you will see many aisles of what we would call ‘needed supplies’ for the area. There are food items and hardware, as well as general merchandise. I just spoke to a lady who was so excited to come in and find hand sanitizer. She said that she had gone everywhere, and had not been able to find any.”
For those reasons mentioned above, Ollie’s should be able to remain open to the public throughout the current health crisis. As for what they are doing to help prevent the potential spread of disease, Clark explained that, after today’s grand opening, plans are in place to allow senior citizens only into the store for the first hour of the day.
Clark said announcements would also be made over the PA system throughout the day reminding shoppers to adhere to social distancing standards of remaining at least six feet apart. He explained that cleaning would be ongoing during hours of operation, with team members having a checklist containing all areas of the store, and how often they would require sanitization.
“We’re using the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) as our guidelines for how we should operate,” Clark said.
As for what Ollie’s will be able to offer its customers in the tri-county area, Clark said, “You’ll see everything from lawnmowers to k-cup coffee products. We’re very proud to offer name brand items at up to 70% off what you’ll see in the ‘fancy stores.’ We are really pleased with our selection.”
In addition to the deals that shoppers will find as they browse the aisles at Ollie’s on any given day, the store also offers a rewards program that gives members even more discounts on pretty much anything in stock.
“It’s called Ollie’s Army,” Clark explained. “When a customer comes in we’re happy to sign them up today, but signups are ongoing throughout the year, and we will have a special counter set up for that for the next several weeks.”
Clark said those who sign up for the rewards program should receive a coupon in the mail within 72 hours that would be good to use on virtually any product in the store during the next visit. He also said that members would enjoy several other benefits, particularly around the Christmas shopping season.
Sarah Ball, District Team Leader, was also present at Wednesday’s grand opening event. She too expressed a great deal of excitement about being able to officially open the doors of this new Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, located in the old General Dynamics building off of East Cumberland Gap Parkway in Corbin.
Ball said that the store will employ between 20-30 people at all times throughout the year.
For more information about Ollie’s visit them online at www.ollies.us.