What is Ocean State Job Lot? The discount chain offers “crazy deals” on just about everything in downtown Pa.


The Rhode Island Discount Chain Ocean State Jobs Bundle extends to Pennsylvania.

The retailer recently opened stores in the State College, Warminster and Willow Street neighborhoods. She plans to open stores in the Elizabethtown and Shillington areas. And he also has his eye on the Harrisburg area.

Most of the company’s stores are in the New England states, although there are some locations in New Jersey and New York.

With the expansion into central Pennsylvania, we spoke to Ocean State Job Lot store operations manager Paul Cox to get some background on the chain.

What is Ocean State Job Lot?

Ocean State Job Lot was started at a flea market by two brothers, Marc and Alan Perlman, and a college roommate, Roy Dubs. They each invested $500. The first store opened on August 15, 1977 in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. In 2020, the channel’s sales exceeded $750 million.

The chain has about 150 stores, and the company plans to eventually expand into the Harrisburg area.

“Our intention is to open in Harrisburg,” Cox said.

The company takes its name from the state where it opened its first store, as Rhode Island’s nickname is “The Ocean State”. “Worklot” means “a miscellaneous collection of goods for sale as a lot usually to a retailer,” according to Merriam-Webster.

  • READ MORE: Ocean State Job Lot takes over half of former Kmart store

Put them together and you have “Ocean State Job Lot”.

Ocean State Job Lot has a lot of “liquidations,” where the chain buys items from major retailers or manufacturers who can no longer use them. The business can then turn around and sell the items at reduced prices. But Cox said “closeouts” only make up about half of the retailer’s offerings, noting they also have plenty of regular items.

What does Ocean State Job Lot sell?

Ocean State Job Lot covers a bit of everything.

The retailer sells items in the following categories: School & Office Supplies, Lawn & Garden, Outdoors, Cooling, Beach & Pool, Water Sports & Outdoor Recreation, Food & Beverages, Housewares, Home Decor, Home Improvement. habitat, pet supplies, health and beauty and clothing.

Cox said the stores sell many seasonal items, from pool chemicals and beach accessories, to toys, seeds and patio furniture in the summer, to heaters and holiday decorations in the winter. .

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“We have an amazing selection of winter socks,” he said.

Cox said the chain was selling a lot of clothes because the company was getting big apparel clearances.

But, he said, “Our food department is probably the most amazing.”

Cox said they were able to source discounted items from European businesses, adding that one of his favorite areas was the large selection of jams.

The chain also has large sections of high-end cereals, teas and sardines, among others.

“We have more teas than you will find anywhere,” he said. “We have more sardines than I have ever seen in my life.”

Unlike other retailers, Ocean State Job Lot places its most popular items up front, in what they internally refer to as the “Power Lane”.

Insiders club

Ocean State Job Lot’s loyalty program is known as the “Insider Club”. Members receive weekly coupons automatically loaded into their account, get exclusive offers each week, are notified first of clearances, and can return items without a receipt as everything is placed in the company’s system.

Insider Club members can also receive “Crazy Deal” gift cards on select items. The cards can then be used on their next purchase.

Cox said “Crazy Deal” gift cards are like retailer currency. For example, Cox said they might have an offer where you buy an item for $399 and they then give you $300 on a gift card to use the next day in the store.

“The biggest benefit of being an insider is really our crazy offers,” he said.


Ocean State Job Lot owns approximately 50% of its locations. The retailer even buys larger locations than needed and then rents out the extra space. They have purchased old Toys ‘R’ Us and Kmart locations in the past. Cox said they were looking to buy places where they didn’t spend more than necessary on the purchase.

We’re not going to overpay for a location,” he said.

Locations in Pennsylvania

Ocean State Job Lot opened stores this year in the State College area at 2222 E. College Ave. in College Township, Center County; and in the Kendig Square Mall at 2600 Willow Street Pike North in East Lampeter Township, near Willow Street, as well as one in the Warminster area.

The retailer is also expected to open a store in the Shillington area of ​​Berks County and has signed an agreement to purchase the former Kmart building in Market Street Square at 1605 S. Market St. in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County. The deal is expected to close later this month.

Retailers also have stores in the Dickson City, Montgomery, Wilkes-Barre and Wind Gap areas.


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