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A $5 Billion Retail Empire That Sells Nothing Online (But Is Beating Amazon)


Abram Brown, Forbes Magazine                                                                                                            Photo by Harry Fellows
April 1, 2019

Ollie’s is very possibly the only company in America whose brick-and-mortar stores are not just surviving but thriving. It focuses exclusively on traditional retailing, selling not a thing online. Read that again: nothing sold online.

Nonetheless, Ollie’s sales have doubled in four years. It moves more than $1 billion a year of low-priced goods from its large (30,000 square feet or so), no-frills stores like the one in Sterling. Profits are at a high, nearly $130 million.

Abram Brown’s article in this month’s Forbes Magazine retails the success story that is Ollie’s, in an era when retailers are retrenching and retooling their market strategies. Retail companies announced 3,400 store closures last year, with plans to shutter a record 155 million square feet of shops. Those numbers will skyrocket in 2019: Retailers announced 4,300 store closures in just the first nine weeks of the year.

As Abram’s points out, Ollie’s is the exception to the rule. Not only is it opening new locations, shares in Ollie’s have quintupled since its IPO in 2015. And every Ollie’s store has been profitable within a year of opening.

To read more about how Ollie’s is thriving in today’s competitive marketplace, click here to read the full article…