The grand opening went much like District Team Leader Scott Granger expected. “Lots of people searching for bargains.”
Lines started forming at 6 this morning in anticipation of the store’s opening and an appearance and autograph session by NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick.
Granger said the draw to the store is selling quality items cheap.
The Roanoke Rapids store becomes the 25th in North Carolina, Granger said.
Granger has been with store for four years. “It’s the customers and the deals we have,” which have led to the chain’s success. “We’ve got great employees.”
Harvick entered the store to cheering fans, many wearing his T-shirts, some bringing replicas of his car.
He spent time on WPTM’s Good Morning Lake Country before appearing at the store. “It’s flattering to see all the fans come out here,” he said. “I do a lot of appearances with them in small towns. It’s a lot of fun for me.”
Harvick said he has had a long relationship with the chain. “We support their store openings.”
Linda Vaughan presented Harvick a cake made by Jennifer Newton as she and her friend Terry Ancarrow posed with the driver. “She did a great job,” Vaughan said of Newton’s cake creation.
Vaughan arrived at the store at 12:30 this morning. “I called the police department to let them know I wasn’t a vagrant.”
Vaughan, wearing a Harvick T-shirt, said, “I love him. I think he’s great. I love his fire and brimstone.”
Aisles in the store were jammed with shoppers and carts. The parking lot was deep with cars as shoppers made their way in and out.
The opening of the store fills out the tenant space left vacant when Walmart moved to Premier Boulevard. Ollie’s is flanked by Goody’s and Tractor Supply.
Roanoke Rapids Councilwoman Carol Cowen was inside with her shopping cart. “I think it’s a really good thing for Roanoke Rapids. I’m glad to see people shopping. I think it’s a really good thing for us.”
Cowen is hopeful the opening of the store will bring more business to the city. “We need a lot of other things. This might help others pop up. I’ve been to the one in Rocky Mount. This is better than the one in Rocky Mount. It’s so much bigger.”