Wednesday, March 25, 2015

TOP STORY >> City gets store for Dirt Cheap

Leader staff writer

Things are going to get Dirt Cheap in Jacksonville by the end of summer as the Mississippi discount chain has announced it will expand into Arkansas.

Jacksonville, along with Blytheville, are the first two stops for the 57-store chain in Arkansas.

The Jacksonville store will take over most of the remaining space in the old Walmart building near Hwy. 67/167. A portion of that space is already occupied by Cost-Plus Furniture.

The exact size of the new store and its opening are not available as the building owner, Tommy Lassiter, did not return a phone call.

Dirt Cheap’s marketing department didn’t respond either, and the firm’s president doesn’t take phone calls.

According to Dirt Cheap’s website, the first store opened in Hattiesburg, Miss. Dirt Cheap and its sister outlet, Treasure Hunt, have since grown into local favorites throughout Mississippi, offering deep discounts in all departments. 

“Over the past 25 years, our business has expanded, growing to be the largest buyer of insurance claims in the United States, while also adding other distressed situations such as manufacturer and retailer buybacks, closeouts, bankruptcies, overstocks, liquidations, customer returns and out-of-season goods,” according to the company’s web site.

So how did the name Dirt Cheap come about?

In October 1997, the Treasure Hunt warehouse shelves became so full of excess inventory that the company had a special sale.

All merchandise was sold at “dirt cheap” prices until gone, and the Dirt Cheap concept was born. 

As business progressed, the amount of inventory only grew, establishing a need for more than just a warehouse sale.

The first Dirt Cheap store opened in 1998, in Petal, Miss. The chain has since grown to 57 stores and counting. 

Today, Dirt Cheap is a standalone company purchasing its own merchandise and exhibiting its own unique selling strategies.

In 2006, the company created a wholesale division, selling the excess inventory the stores could not handle.

Merchandise changes frequently and are priced up to 90 percent less than retail.

With prices that low, the company has a “no return” policy. It also offers a military and senior discount on certain days.