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Posted on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

Ollie's Bargain Outlet to join Walmart in Roundtree Shopping Center

By Lizzy Alfs


A shopper checks out the baking pans in the kitchen aisle at Ollie's Bargain Outlet in Oakwood, Ohio.

Chris Stephens/

Ypsilanti Township’s Roundtree Plaza shopping center has a new tenant: Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.

The Pennsylvania-based chain of discount stores signed a lease for a 36,000-square-foot space east of the Walmart store, according to real estate firm Mid-America. The plaza is located at 2321 Ellsworth Road, west of Hewitt Road.

The space — once occupied by a Busch’s Fresh Food Market and Sheena’s Marketplace — has been vacant for several years. Mid-America’s Susan Acciaioli, Tony Schmitt and Jack Uhazie represented Ollie’s in the transaction.

Founded in 1982, the eclectic Ollie’s Bargain Outlet chain operates more than 140 stores in 13 states, with plans to open about 20 to 30 stores per year, according to its website.

The warehouse-style stores typically display inventory on pallets and moveable fixtures, with caricatures and quirky signage separating the store into 19 categories. Departments include hardware, books and stationery, carpet, domestics, food, toys and seasonal goods.

“The merchandising team at Ollie’s has close relationships with a vast network of manufacturers and vendors, ensuring a constantly changing merchandise mix and plenty of name-brand products,” its website says.

The chain looks for real estate in regional or neighborhood centers anchored by big-box retailers or dominant grocery stores.

The Roundtree Plaza shopping center is anchored by a Walmart store on its west end. In May, Ypsilanti Township’s Planning Commission unanimously approved Walmart’s plans for a 38,000-square-foot addition that will primarily make room for a full grocery section.

The $4 million construction project is expected to begin in August and is targeted for completion within 120 days.

A representative with Ollie’s Bargain Outlet could not immediately be reached for comment, but the company’s website says it plans to open the Ypsilanti Township store on July 31.

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Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Ann English

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

Hey, new Ollie's, get on the Ollie's website as soon as you can after opening. There's a Sales Flyer menu at the site. People go to that website to find the nearest Ollie's; right now, there's no Ollie's within 20 minutes of Ann Arbor. Nice sound effects for each menu name when clicked at that website.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

Not like there isn't already a Big Lots in that complex or anything...

Lets Get Real

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

It is always disappointing that people voice negative opinions before a store even opens. If this store doesn't stock stuff people want, it will not survive, period. In that shopping center - this store will give the Walmart a run for its money. No wonder it is making all those upgrades written about recently. I've been to the Ollie's on Telegraph, south of I94. I bought beautiful garden pots at a fraction of the cost of landscape nurseries and big box home improvement stores. Did I care they were close-outs? This particular store is located next to the Sear's Warehouse Store and a Salvation Army Thrift Store. It clearly targets a demographic with income levels that require maximizing purchasing power. Although not typically thought of as the Ann Arbor consumer, it is still a demographic that lives in our region and who will support a store that carries merchandise they need and want, at a price they can afford. Bush's gave it a go there, and obviously didn't offer their product at a price that the market in that geographic could afford. Result - they are not there any more. Ollie's will have to be judged by its ability to understand their customers and offer it what they promise: Good Stuff Cheap

Ann English

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

I've only bought water-resistant watches for $5 at Big Lots, never at Walmart. Sounds like Ollie's may sell them, too. I liked shopping at that Busch's at Roundtree, after finishing shopping for pharmaceuticals at Walmart. The grocery selection was better than Sheena Marketplace's.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

I'm so glad that the big, empty store is finally getting a tenant. I'm near there all the time to drop off my child at work at Taco Bell. Browsing Big Lots, I've purchased a couple rolls of Snoopy Christmas wrap, a cake mix, and a Chapstick, so far, i.e. not a whole lot. I'm curious about Ollie's and will check it out for sure. A few years ago, they had some outlet bookstores near there, and they were gone very quickly.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

Ollies recently opened stores in Westland & Farmington Hills, I've been to a few stores, like a larger, more crowded Big Lots. Hey snobs- they have a large section of remaindered books. Also building supplies & carpeting, food etc.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 10:41 a.m.

I hope they do something about the parking lot. In bad shape.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

For all the snobs that don't like this.Look, seeing that you are so far superior and better than us common folk, who without us, you wouldn't have your over priced Prius, just figure out a way that you can drive by it while looking down your nose without causing a accident ( which of course,you'll blame everyone else but yourself )


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

No, not shopping there does not make someone a snob.Making arrogant comments about it is what makes one a snob

Elaine F. Owsley

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 11:28 a.m.

Actually tdw, I drive a 12 year old Chrysler Town and Country.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

Just because I don't like it, and wouldn't shop there, doesn't make me, or anyone else, a snob.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

Cool! More stuff cheap. Big Lots, Ollies and Walmart! O my! Where are the smelling salts!!!


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

We need a place with shelves of shiny stuff that takes credit cards. This sounds perfect.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

There is one in Monroe, it is actually a pretty nice little store. Though stores in that area don't seem to stay nice long. It will definitely be competition to the grubby big lots nearby. If it is anything like the one in Monroe you will find quality items for decent prices.

Hugh Giariola

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

For all of the snobbish posters who are too good to shop at Ollie's, just stay away and Ypsi Twp. will not miss you. Ollie's is a good store for close outs on some good items. Many times they are paired with a "Just Cabinets" store, but the article did not say if that was happening here.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 2:24 a.m.

Hugh, within the last couple of years, there seems to have been a break in the relationship of Ollie's and Just Cabinets. New stores don't seem to be paired.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 12:16 a.m.

eagleman...I agree but us low life's ,at least the one's I know don't hold people who are successful in contempt.And I bet I know more than you do


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

And vice versa, TDW. Society is a mutually dependent creature.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.

TDW - excellent point.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:35 p.m.

You know, if it wasn't for us " lowly people " the snobs wouldn't have jobs.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

I'm just happy this is on the "other" side of 23.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.

You can stay on your side of 23. Paying double the price for the same merchandise just because a store is decorated with cookie cutter signs, pumped in odors (yes stores do that intentionally), and a good paint job is your option.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:35 p.m.

Thank you. More cheap stuff for me.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

And I'm just happy you stay on the " other " side of 23


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

Doesn't look like a place I'd want to shop. Ollie's Bargain Outlet is one of America's largest retailers of closeouts, excess inventory, and salvage merchandise. Our 141 "semi-lovely" stores sell merchandise of all descriptions and some beyond description. You'll find lots of famous brand name goods in every department, like housewares from Rubbermaid, Mirro, Ekco, and Anchor Hocking, toys from Mattel, or sporting goods from Igloo. Ollie's buyers scour the world looking for closeouts, overstocks, package changes, manufacturer refurbs, and irregulars. Much of the merchandise comes direct from the finest manufacturers in the country and abroad. For instance, if a manufacturer makes too much of an item, or changes their packaging — Ollie's will buy the discontinued or overstock items. So you will always find famous brand name products at Ollie's...but it could be last year's color or pattern that traditional retailers won't sell. We also work with insurance companies to buy salvage merchandise. If a store in your neighborhood has a fire, Ollie's may purchase the inventory and put it in our stores at drastically reduced prices! Yes there may be a little smoke on the stuff, but it'll be so cheap that you won't mind! Ollie's has also liquidated major retail centers, working very closely with financial institutions. When companies liquidate, the bank will often dispose of the remaining inventory and turn it in to cash. Ollie's brings the goods back to our stores, or runs the liquidation sale on site. Folks, everything you buy at Ollie's is covered by our 30-day "No Hard Time" Guarantee. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase — return it within 30 days for a full refund (with sales receipt).

Ann English

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

I missed this article, but could read the Ollie's sign from Walmart yesterday. Even then, I thought what other comment posters are thinking: how is this store different from Big Lots? Apparently It's different from the one on Lohr Road in that it doesn't sell food. In one week, it's going to open. I wonder if it advertises what it sells?


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:16 p.m.

If it doesn't look like a place you'd want to shop, why do you sound like the Director of Marketing?

Hugh Giariola

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

So.........where is the problem?


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

Oh goody, another crappy store in an already junky plaza.

C. Montgomery Burns

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

Yes, I agree. I think a Neiman Marcus or Sak's Fifth Avenue would be a much better's too bad such area neighborhoods such as Ashford Village bring this whole area down.

Stewart G. Griffin

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

"Ahoy polloi... where did you come from, a scotch ad?" Spalding Smails Bushwood Country Club


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 10:53 a.m.

As if a hipster would ever be caught dead in a Starbucks.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 10:40 a.m.

I smell a hipster. He'd be more excited if it was a Starbucks.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:31 p.m.

Hey! News flash !....don't like it ? I'm sure if you don't lower your nose you won't see it

Bertha Venation

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

Love Ollies! Went to one when I was in Virginia.

Bertha Venation

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

tdw... Geez! It just gets better and better. I'd better pick you up on the way... .you've got some killer ideas! :)


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

Bertha...Ooops didn't read your comment first.I hear you can get a good deal on some cool hover round stuff there.( I was told you at the right time get a roll cage at times.) not sure if it's true but that's what I was told

Elaine F. Owsley

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

And they start loading another container ship in China and it heads for Ypsilanti with cheap goods.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

Elaine....I've got a $1,000 in my pocket that says I can find " cheap China goods " in your house.Wanna take the bet ?


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:16 p.m.

Some Guy, That's why they want to widen I-94 - so they can get the container ships through...


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

I think you missed the part where they mostly buy overstocks from other stores/distributors that couldn't sell it. Hence, the merchandise is already here.

Some Guy in 734

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

What route would a container ship take from China to Ypsi?

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

I had never heard of this store until today. After a quick search I found this report from a store that recently opened in Toledo. Has anyone shopped at one of these stores? From what I gather it is essentially a Big Lots type store that liquidates old and overstock inventory.

Bertha Venation

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

Hey TDW! Say! Thanks for the headz up! This will help when I enter the Monster Hoveround contest at Ford Field! (bring your earplugs!)


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

I shop there when visiting family in Maryland. If you like a Costco look with TJ Maxx products you'll like it. I always walk out with tons of kid's books, wrapping paper & gift bags, school supplies, kid's toys, and random finds like salad dressing, nice sheets from JC Penny, or a glazed planter.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 2:20 a.m.

Ollie's clustered around Maryland and Pennsylvania. They buy overstocks as Kyle mentioned and inventory from stores that are going out of business. While sometimes they are good hunting, not the cleanest of places. Understandable as some of the items they carry do not arrive straight from a factory. Check grocery items for expiration dates before purchase, and some appliances like toaster ovens etc. are "remanufactured" (i.e. were returned and repackaged or returned with a defect and repaired). Not perfect but worth a look for good discounts on anything from air conditioners, tools, beauty items, carpet, sporting equipment, books - just depends what they bought out. Oh, did I mention they sponsor a NASCAR team?


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

Quick....Kyle....get me my smelling salts. I think I am going to pass out from all of this.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

Bertha.....I've heard you can get some great deals for 4x4 hoverround tires.Not sure if it's true but that's what I've heard ( you just have to keep a look out for them )

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

Many 'name brands' are licensed by various consumer good distributors. When I worked for a distributor we would sell a lot of our unused inventory, say a shipment of air purifiers that Meijer returned unsold to Big Lots for at or near manufacturing costs, sounds similar in this case. This should make for interesting competition in this shopping center with Big Lots and Wal Mart already near by.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

I'm not too familiar with Big Lots - only been to one once - but the Ollie's website is marketing itself as being different than competitors because it carries more brand name products.

Bertha Venation

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:23 p.m.

Hi Kyle, Yes. It is a lot like BIG LOTS. Some great bargains, but like anyplace, you have to be careful.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

This sounds kind of interesting. Now if they would just fix up that Big Lots a little bit to bring it up to par with the new one in Ann Arbor and this could be a discount shopping center! The only problem I see is deciding which store to go to first.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

comment...the main problem with the Big Lots is to fix it up they'd have to empty and gutt it.I'ts not dirty it's old.I worked there when it was a A&P and closed in 81' or 82'.And even then it was there for years.I could walk you through it and show you where everything used to be


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

They are going to have booming business

Silly Sally

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 11:25 a.m.

I go to one in Maryland. They have great books, toys, and all sorts of things. This is great news, except for Kerrytown.!