New store gives shoppers bang for their buck
While it isn't making much on each item - since each would generally sell for a buck - a new dollar store in Linda reports that its first months have been successful.
The Dollar Giant store, located at 1688 N. Beale Road, is doing "very good," said manager Ron Wilson.
The key to that is keeping operational costs down.
"Financially we're making it, yes, and the key is low overhead," Wilson said.
The 2,500-square-foot store cuts a lot of corners to sell things for a buck.
Wilson and cashier Sam Mann are the only two employees at the store. The store owns its trucks, which owner Mike Shah drives to warehouses to pick up the stock.
It also has its own ice machine. Bags of ice can be a real money maker in the summer.
Shah, former owner of Val-U-Mart stores in Colusa and Corning, was a Mercedes technician in the Bay Area before he changed careers and entered the dollar store business.
After selling the Colusa and Corning stores, he was looking for a new location when someone suggested the community of Linda.
The idea behind the store is pretty simple - to give value to customers, Shah said.
It makes money with low markup, high turnover and quality products, Shah said.
The store is competing with a new Wal-Mart just down the street. But Shah and Wilson said they're not really competitors, pricewise, at least.
"Some of the merchandise you see here is a lot more valuable than a dollar," Shah said.
School folders that sold for $2.49 at office products stores were selling for a buck.
Laundry soap that sold at other stores for five or six dollars was - you guessed it - a buck.
One of the biggest hits has been cowboy hats for a buck.
"Nowhere, not even Wal-Mart, can supply those cowboy hats," Shah said. "When the rodeo was here we probably sold 500 of them."
Then there are the oddities.
"Where are you going to buy a porcelain clown for one dollar?" Wilson asked.
Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey can be reached at 749-4711. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.