Ribbon-cutting ceremony for Ollie's Bargain Outlet in Sylacauga

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held as part of the grand opening of Ollie's Bargain Outlet in Sylacauga on Wednesday.

SYLACAUGA -- The city of Sylacauga officially welcomed Ollie’s Bargain Outlet with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.

An enthusiastic crowd from all across Talladega County lined the parking lot of 570 West Fort Williams St. during the retailer’s grand opening.

“I read about the grand opening in a flier that was with my paper,” said Patti Cole, of Munford. “I decided that I had to come check out the sales.”

Cole noted that she was shopping specifically for a “new iPad and garden hose.”

City officials said the business has created approximately 60 new jobs and will help with the municipality’s sales tax revenue.

“This is a wonderful day for the city,” Sylacauga Mayor Jim Heigl said. “The tax revenue will be a great asset to us, and we are proud to provide many employment opportunities for our residents.”

The mayor said that he was encouraged by the successful turnout.

“I wasn’t expecting this many people,” he said. “This has to be a crowd in the hundreds, maybe even thousands. We’re glad this day has finally come.”

The previous City Council during its final meeting before leaving office last November authorized an agreement on tax breaks to develop the property. Ollie’s is the first tenant confirmed for redevelopment.

The redevelopment agreement is between the city and Second Street Plaza of Sylacauga, LLC. The building has been vacant since Coast to Coast closed several years ago.

Second Plaza hopes to bring more than one retailer to the building. The company has developed similar property in Fort Payne, Cullman, Pell City and Scottsboro.

“We are excited to finally be open for business,” Brent Frederick, developer for Second Street Plaza said. “This has been a long time coming.”

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is one of America’s largest retailers of closeouts, excess inventory and salvage merchandise.

It has more than 230 of what it calls “semi-lovely” stores that sell a variety of merchandise, including clothes, food, furniture, appliances, electronics and more.

According to the company website, customers will find real brands at bargain prices in every department, from houseware to sporting goods to flooring and to food.

“We look forward to being actively involved in the community,” Ollie’s District Manager Zack Shields said.

Ollie’s has opened Alabama stores in Semmes, Anniston, Dothan and Birmingham, along with stores in the neighboring states of Florida and Georgia.

The business was founded in 1982. It is headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

“I’m particularly proud of this project because it is in my district,” Councilman Donnie Blackmon said. “It is in an ideal location at the heart of town, and it is the council’s goal to keep adding new businesses to this area.”

Hours of operation for Ollie's are 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, call 256-245-8053.

To apply for employment, visit www.ollies.us

-- Staff writer Denise Sinclair contributed to this report.