We are a highly differentiated and fast-growing, extreme value retailer of brand name merchandise at drastically reduced prices. Known for our assortment of “Good Stuff Cheap,” we offer customers a broad selection of brand name products, including housewares, food, books and stationery, bed and bath, floor coverings, toys and hardware. Our differentiated go-to market strategy is characterized by a unique, fun and engaging treasure hunt shopping experience, compelling customer value proposition and witty, humorous in-store signage and advertising campaigns. These attributes have driven our rapid growth and strong and consistent store performance.
Mark Butler, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, co-founded Ollie’s in 1982, based on the idea that “everyone in America loves a bargain.” Since opening our first store in Mechanicsburg, PA, we have expanded throughout the Eastern half of the United States. From the time Mr. Butler assumed his current position as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2003, we have grown from operating 28 stores in three states to 234 stores in 19 states as of January 28, 2017. Our no-frills, “semi-lovely” warehouse style stores average approximately 34,000 square feet and generate consistently strong financial returns across all vintages, geographic regions, population densities, demographic groups, real estate formats and regardless of any cotenant. Our business model has resulted in positive financial performance during strong and weak economic cycles. Since 1998, 100% of our stores have generated positive four-wall EBITDA on a trailing 12-month basis, and prior to that, we believe all of our stores were profitable in each fiscal year since opening our first store in 1982. We expect to open between 33 and 35 new stores in fiscal year 2017 and believe there is opportunity for more than 950 Ollie’s locations across the United States based on internal estimates and third party research conducted by Jeff Green Partners, a retail real estate feasibility consultant that provides market analysis and strategic planning and consulting services.
Our constantly changing merchandise assortment is procured by a highly experienced merchant team, who leverage deep, long-standing relationships with hundreds of major manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, brokers and retailers. These relationships enable our merchant team to find and select only the best buys from a broad range of brand name and closeout product offerings and to pass drastically reduced prices along to our customers. As we grow, we believe our increased scale will provide us with even greater access to brand name products because many large manufacturers favor large buyers capable of acquiring an entire deal. Our merchant team augments these deals with directly sourced products including Ollie’s own private label brands and other products exclusive to Ollie’s.