Kelly Small loves to shop for a bargain.
“I pride myself in finding quality merchandise for significantly less,” she said.
Ms. Small felt her hometown could use a general merchandise store. She often needed to run to the store to grab a roll of paper towels or a gift bag and didn’t want to drive into Tyler, she said, adding that her store is off of Old Jacksonville Highway and people driving back and forth to Tyler or Bullard pass by.
On Dec. 15, Ms. Small opened Dollar Depot, a full-service deep discount retail store in Gresham Village shopping center. Dollar Depot offers thousands of items in more than 25 major merchandise categories – including hardware, cosmetics, jewelry, cleaners, food and snacks, cards and balloons – all priced at $1.
Ms. Small said she also has a variety of Valentine’s Day items, such as gift bags, ribbon, balloons, jewelry, candy and other gifts.
“I’ll always highlight the holidays and have a special section,” she said.
Ms. Small and her stepmother, Cindi Small, runs the store.
Ms. Small said even though she thinks a lot of people still don’t know Dollar Depot is there, business has been good so far. She has one customer who comes in to shop every week to see what new things have been put out, she said, adding that she tries to get new merchandise out weekly.
Ms. Smith said she was originally looking at opening her store in Tyler, but there was too much competition with other dollar stores.
Dollar Depot is in a 1,200-square-foot space that formerly housed Hobby Monkey. She is offering $1 in “depot dollars” for every $10 a customer spends at her store.
Ms. Small contracted with Dollar Store Services. The company has assisted more than 1,800 independent business owners in establishing their own stores since 1995, according to a statement. It provides a complete turnkey business opportunity, including finance, site and lease assistance, fixtures, merchandise, labor, training and no-cost, long-term support.
“She was involved in every stage of the process of her store development, from choosing the location and merchandise, to extensive training,” Dollar Store Services General Manager John LaFronz said. “Her hard work and dedication will make Dollar Depot a wonderful addition to the retail environment in Tyler.”