Discount and outlet stores have long been favorite destinations for bargain hunters looking to get new or like-new high-quality items for rock bottom prices. A local chain of four discount stores, headquartered in Ogden, has reinvigorated the in-store shopping experience with their unique products and big savings. They are quickly expanding throughout Utah and Idaho to become one of the fastest-growing discount store chains.
If you haven't heard of Big Deal Outlet before, it might be because they just changed their name last week. Their Utah stores previously known as BDO Outlet, Logan Outlet, and Layton Outlet, changed their names in order to be recognized as one brand and one company.
Big Deal Outlet stores sell liquidation and close-out products from local manufacturers and national retailers at up to 75% off the original price. They offer unique bargains on a big variety of groceries, clothing, shoes, housewares, toys, furniture and much more. As many brick and mortar stores have struggled to remain open with customers switching from in-person to online shopping, Big Deal Outlet has averaged 38% annual revenue growth and today employs 150 people.
How are their products so cheap?
Big Deal Outlet receives most of its inventory from the big-name national retailers. When an online retailer receives a customer return back that has packaging damage, has been lightly used, or is too difficult to restock they have two options: send it to the landfill or liquidate it. This is where Big Deal Outlet comes in. Big Deal Outlet buys these products, inspects them for damage or missing parts, and sells them from any of its four locations for highly discounted prices.
"January is the best time for us to stock up on inventory," says Big Deal Outlet founder Clayton Cook. "We get the best prices and the inventory we buy is usually in excellent condition because of the holiday return rush. Last year in January we bought three full semis of Instant Pots that were all customer returns. Over half of them were brand new, and the other half had only minor cosmetic defects."
While customer returns from online retailers make up the majority of Big Deal Outlet's products, the stores are best known for their deals on food and groceries. They receive salvage and secondary products from local grocery stores, distributors and manufacturers. Most of their food is shelf-pulls, has package damage or is close-to or past its freshness date. Semis that tip over or are involved in accidents also need to be liquidated. Recently, Big Deal Outlet purchased overturned semis full of Rockstar energy drinks, Top Ramen, and 50-pound bags of yellow onions, all of which they were able to sell at steeply discounted prices.
"We always have very unique products that you won't find anywhere else," Cook explained. "I am always amazed at the variety of products that our local food manufacturers, restaurant suppliers, and distributors have. My favorite thing we have right now is 10-pound bags of peanut M&Ms for $11.99. Our fastest-selling product is 20 oz soda (sold for $.50 each). We sell out within a day or two of getting a load."
If there's anything constant about the inventory at the Outlet's locations, it's change. On average, their inventory will completely turn over every month. Inventory at each store varies from the others, depending on what overstock and returned items are available from local and national retailers. "Our customers love a bargain and we have plenty of unique treasures on our shelves," said Cook. "If you don't buy it today it will most likely be gone tomorrow. Every product we sell is a big deal!"
More growth is expected in 2021
After opening its flagship store in Ogden in March 2011, success allowed Big Deal Outlet to expand to Logan in June of 2018, and Layton in December of 2019. Their fourth store opened in Idaho Falls in September 2020 with the new name, Big Deal Outlet.
"Unlike most retail businesses that are struggling in the current economy, we continue to grow and we have big plans for 2021" Cook explained. "Last week we relocated our Layton store to a new building on Hill Field Road, just behind the Layton Hills Mall. Right now we are stuffing our warehouse full of product to get ready for our 10th anniversary sale in March, and we also hope to open two more stores this year in yet-to-be-disclosed locations."
Big Deal Outlet sends out their Big Deals of the Week every Wednesday by email, as well as by posting them on their website and social media sites. You can also view the grand re-opening deals for the newly relocated Layton, Utah store on their website.
"Have you ever wondered what happened to that sweater you bought online, but you returned it because it didn't fit," Cook said. "Stop by the Big Deal Outlet and maybe you'll see it again, only now it's half the price you originally paid for it."