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Ollie’s Bargain Outlet opens in Mishawaka

Nearly 70 customers were lined up outside of Ollie\'s Bargain Outlet in Mishawaka on Wednesday morning ahead of its 9 a.m. opening.

MISHAWAKA, Ind.— While many businesses have slowed operations or closed their doors entirely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new store in Mishawaka is celebrating its grand opening.

As an essential business under Governor Eric Holcomb’s stay-at-home order, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet on Grape Road was allowed to celebrate its grand opening as scheduled on Wednesday, but with a few adjustments.

“We’re following all of the CDC guidelines and recommendations nationally and then the local health department’s been in, asked us to implement some things which we’ve done, so we’re trying to maintain some social distancing, masks, gloves, all of those things. On the floor, we’re trying to direct traffic and limit how many folks come in at a time,” said Regional Director Ken Missig. 

Only 50 people are allowed into the store at 6011 Grape Road at any one time. Customers are directed through the store by arrows taped to the floor in an effort to support social distancing.

Blue “X marks” near the few open registers indicate where customers should wait in line.

On Wednesday, a line of eager shoppers formed outside of the store ahead of the 9 a.m. opening and stayed in tact throughout much of the morning and afternoon.

The closeout merchandise and excess inventory retailer offers everything from rain boots and luggage to flooring and kitchen utensils.

“We carry shelf staple food, over-the-counter medicines, cleaning supplies, a lot of the health and beauty things, a lot of the consumables that people need to replenish for their households,” Missig said. “But we run the gamut and we sometimes get some really off the wall type items. In my tenure we’ve had grandfather clocks and pool tables. We don’t have any of that today but we do get some really interesting things, like wedding dresses. If you go to some of the other stores in Indiana you may see some of that left.”

In-demand items during the pandemic like Lysol wipes have purchase caps for customers. Missig said the store is expecting a shipment of hand sanitizer sometime in the next week.

The store’s hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Mishawaka Ollie’s is the 14th in the state of Indiana. Another location, the state’s 13th Ollie’s, also opened Wednesday in Terre Haute.

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