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A discount retailer expanding its 132-store chain by 18 percent this year has selected Radcliff.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet has signed a lease agreement to establish a 26,000-square-foot store in Radcliff Square Shopping Center in the heart of the city. It should open by mid-May and will employ between 40 and 50 people, said Jerry Altland, the company’s vice president of real estate.
Based in Harrisburg, Pa., Ollie’s specializes in brand-name closeouts, discontinued items and salvage merchandise. It emphasizes the savings with its “Good Stuff Cheap!” motto. The store routinely sells at 20 percent less than suggested retail prices with recurring discounts of 50 to 60 percent off, Altland said. Its website also describes “Kiss It Goodbye” sale items that go at 80 percent below suggested retail price.
“The way the economy is, it can be very successful,” Mayor J.J. Duvall said. “It’s a bargain place and people are looking for bargains.”
Duvall said Ollie’s will increase traffic for Radcliff’s retail community and create more jobs for
Altland negotiated the lease with Joe Markham, a Utah developer who owns the property, which sits one block off U.S. 31W with access from East Lincoln Trail Boulevard and Spring Street.
A Vine Grove native, he thinks the new business will appeal to a target demographic that also has an interest in Orscheln Farm and Home, Family Dollar and other retailers in the center.
In July 2011, Markham announced a planned $4.5 million renovation for Radcliff Square designed to transform the property into a swank lifestyle complex with restaurants, hotels, multi-family residential units and entertainment options. Despite the transformation of Fort Knox and a growing income base locally, his objective failed to attract necessary financing, Markham said.
“We couldn’t get any traction on the financial side,” Markham said Friday. Negotiations continue with hotel developers, Markham said, but “we’re moving ahead piecemeal to get the retail going.”
Ollie’s is moving into about two-thirds of a building that was constructed to house a Winn-Dixie grocery. Markham said he has a tentative agreement for the remaining space of approximately 8,000-square feet and he hopes to announce a tenant before Ollie’s opens.
The center became the new home for El Camino, a Mexican restaurant, which relocated last year. Although Markham said a formal announcement is premature, he has signed leases in hand for two other ethnic restaurants that also are likely to open this year.
He sees that future food destination to be a complement to the retail base and a step toward his vision for the “village concept” shopping area.
“We’re still trying to get it done,” Markham said.
Ollie’s, which has stores in 13 states, plans to open 24 new locations this year. The Radcliff store will be its third Kentucky outlet.
Its product lines include housewares, groceries, lawn and garden, hardware, flooring, electronics and books. Details can be found online at www.olliesbargainoutlet.com.
Ben Sheroan can be reached at (270) 505-1764 or firstname.lastname@example.org.