A growing number of discount stores have popped up in the Topeka area in recent years, from north of the Kansas River to Holliday Square.
Some are department stores, carrying an assortment of goods ranging from automobiles and tools to electronics and clothing. Others specialize in a particular type of merchandise, such as furniture or appliances.
Discount warehouse retailers say they operate on a business model that is based on purchasing goods that are liquidated, overstocked, returned, or damaged by the pallet or truck.
With lower overhead costs than traditional outlets, these companies are able to sell branded products at deep discounts, passing the savings on to their customers.
Topeka resident Billie Esser said T&L Retail Sales at 1209 N. Kansas Ave. sells furniture and home decor at a fraction of the cost of major retailers. Esser said they bought a sofa and ottoman from T&L and recommend the experience.
âFurniture today doesn’t seem to be made as well as it once was, and I’ve found that whether I spend $ 300 or $ 2,100, everything seems to last the same time,â she said. said, “I’m not incredibly picky, and if I’m in the market for a new piece of furniture, I watch the T&L website for a while before I buy elsewhere.”
With excess purchases often being the same brands found at the Nebraska Furniture Mart, Esser said a little patience can pay off big savings.
âWho doesn’t like a good deal?â She asked. âIf you can be flexible, it works.â
Discounted retail more popular as inflation rises
With the rise in popularity of discount retailers has been accompanied by record inflation, which sees Americans pinching their pennies a little more. These companies allow buyers to get more for their money without sacrificing quality.
âThe vast majority of what we see is brand new,â said Tanner Steele, manager of RJ’s Discount Store, 3729 SW South Park Ave. âWe check it out, sell it at half the retail price for big discounts. We make it possible for customers to buy the products they need for less.
The Steele family have been in the warehouse discount business for many years, both from a retail perspective and as a wholesaler, operating from a warehouse in South Topeka.
âWe did it first. We had a store in Topeka from 1987 to 1996. The whole family, from my dad to my grandmother, went into pallet and truck sales, âSteele said. âWhen I finished at K-State, I went to work in the warehouse. Wholesale is the main part of our online and telephone business.
RJ’s Discount opened a new retail store in 2017
RJ’s has closed its original retail stores in Topeka to switch to bulk selling of pallets and semi-loads of product, distributing them to stores in town and across the country. They opened their current outlet in 2017 to offer low-cost, high-quality merchandise to local buyers.
âWe have contracts with Amazon, Target, Home Depot and more,â Steele said.
RJ’s Discount receives trucks every week and puts new goods on the floor daily. Steele said semi-loads sometimes include a full manifest of the items on the truck, and sometimes it’s a total surprise.
âThere is definitely a risk for us with that. You can have a good deal, and then you won’t see it again. You have to know how to adapt in order to survive.
Shoppers at RJ can find excess clothing inventory at retailers such as Marshalls, as well as housewares, tools, small appliances, pet supplies, toys, mattresses and more.
Topeka Retailers Offer Warehouse Approach
For Topeka bargain hunters looking to stretch their cash, the following local businesses promise warehouse bargains at a fraction of the cost of traditional retailers.
buy It Now, 6260 SW 9e Terrasse C.
â¢ Clearance of branded merchandise at at least half of the lowest price guaranteed online.
â¢ A new inventory is added every week.
CapCityOutlet, 115 SW 29th St.
â¢ Most merchandise comes from retail outlets in Kansas and Nebraska.
â¢ Each item is inspected, tested and cleaned before being placed on the floor.
â¢ Recent thefts include Lysol wipes, premium automotive tools, video game consoles, rare DVDs, and musical instruments.
Epic overstocks, 108 S. Kansas Ave.
â¢ 15,000 square foot warehouse with merchandise from Amazon, Target, Walmart and more.
â¢ Online and retail sales.
â¢ Automotive, Baby & Children’s Goods, Health & Beauty, Business & Office, Apparel, Collectibles, Arts & Crafts, Electronics, Home, Jewelry, Pet Supplies, Sports Equipment & Toys.
RJ Discount Store, 3729 SW South Park Ave.
â¢ Invented “The Half Off Store”, merchandise is typically half the suggested retail price.
â¢ The quality of the goods is checked.
â¢ Recent deals listed include furniture, housewares, digital scales, tools and pocket knives.
T&L Retail Sales, 1209 N. Kansas Ave.
â¢ Specialized in furnishings and interior decoration.
â¢ Sofas, sectionals, couches, chairs, dining room and bedroom furniture.
This other place, 2125 N. Kansas Ave.
â¢ Closing items including auto parts, tools, hardware, general housewares, office and party supplies, health and beauty, and more.
This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Retail warehouse stores are becoming increasingly popular in Topeka