About 20 people danced to salsa music, ate tacos, drank margaritas and gave money to hurricane victims in Cuba Monday night.
At Ollie’s Bargain Outlet opening Wednesday, shoppers found deals for $1.50 T-shirts and $39.99 printers.The first Gainesville location of the Florida chain opened for hundreds of customers in Northside Shopping Center, located at 2340 N. Main St., at 9 a.m. The discount outlet opened where Big Lots used to be. The store sent coupons to Gainesville residents before the opening with promising prices, said Sharon McVey, the store assistant team leader.Described as closeout merchandise, Ollie’s products, which range from food and books to furniture and electronics, are priced from 99 cents to $699, she said. “We’ve got everything, and if we don’t have it you don’t need it,” McVey said. “That’s our motto: get stuff cheap.”Most of the store was 50 to 70 percent off, and some of the specials included $1.50 T-shirts, $39.99 printers, $199.99 chair recliners and $159.99 televisions, which quickly went out of stock. Andy Valladon, 45, and his mother were riding motorcycles when they passed Ollie’s and decided to check it out, he said. He said he was impressed by the size of the store and how popular it was.“I wasn’t expecting this,” Valladon said. “The store has a lot of promotions going on. I was looking at the K-cups, and they are a third of the price. I will probably be back.” Other locations nearby include one in Ocala, one in Palatka and two in Jacksonville, McVey said. Another store in Orange Park also opened Wednesday.