By RAY QUIROGA
Area shoppers will be able to enjoy a different shopping experience beginning June 23 when an overstock liquidation retail store opens its doors in Port Isabel.
Located at 1750 Hwy 100 in Port Isabel, within the Tarantino shopping center – at the same location where the former Bealls clothing store was located — Simply Good Overstock will bring thousands of name brand items at as much as 65% of retail compared to the competition, which includes big box and online stores, according to company founder Steve Gray, who has four other similar stores in other parts of the country.
Gray is able to offer such variety and discounts due to contracts his company has to purchase overstock goods from some of the nation’s top online and traditional brick and mortar retailers.
“The best way to put it is that we are the fourth largest liquidator for the largest online retailer in the world,” Gray said. “So we liquidate hundreds and hundreds semis-full of product every month…We usually deal with their overstocks; we don’t deal with returns and a lot of companies do.”
Gray has long had the idea of opening an overstock store in the area. As frequent visitors to the Laguna Madre area, and an even more recent owner of an island residence, the Grays, which includes Steve’s wife, Marlene, who oversees the retail store aspect of the operation, have long believed that the local market was ripe for one of their stores.
“My wife and I have been coming down there since before my kids can walk. We’ve been going down to the Port Isabel-South Padre area for over 30 years,” Gray told the Press in a phone interview. “We just decided to go down about 30 years ago, down to the Island, and we just kind of fell in love with it.”
Upon hiring store manager Tom Bainter, another South Padre Island resident and current member of the Island’s Economic Development Corporation board, as well as other boards and volunteer-based organizations, the duo sought the right locale to open up shop.
Bainter, a retired archeologist turned property manager who is originally from Hawaii, was introduced to Gray by way of a mutual friend, Rod Bates, the owner of Rio Bravo Gallery in Port Isabel.
Now with a reliable manager on board, the Grays sought the services of real estate broker, Lenny Cavazos of Que Padre Reality, LLC., who negotiated the lease for the former Bealls location in Port Isabel. Bainter and company have been working non-stop, metaphorically, of course, to meet the store’s grand opening target date of the June 23, which is months before the Gray’s original projected grand opening date, Bainter said.
“It’s been a long time in the works, and trying to find the right building, and Lenny found the right building, and he’s (Steve Gray) thinking of actually retiring down here and opening up a big warehouse in Brownsville,” Bainter said.
“I think this is going to be great because I don’t think we have an overstock store here in the Valley, or at least not one that I know of,” Cavazos said. Cavazos, who is Port Isabel resident, has been in the real estate business for 20 years and has been a broker for the past six years.
So what can potential customers expect find at Simply Good Overstock? Maybe the real question should be, what can customers not expect to find, because with an ever-revolving inventory, the store may have anything and everything from name brand clothes, footwear, work ware, iPhones, iPads, an array of electronics, kayaks, generators, high end grills, as well as a variety of household items, at any given time.
“The cool thing about this store is that you never know what you’re going to get because each load is different,” Bainter said. “So you almost have to come in here weekly, if not daily, just to see what’s new and then if you want something, before you go to Brownsville, you come in and see because you know it’s going to be cheaper.”
Gray also hopes that a successful outcome here in Port Isabel will lead to the opening of more stores across the Rio Grande Valley. “This is a family run company. My daughters and my son-in-laws are all involved. This is a family centered, very customer-centric company. We’re not a big cooperation. We never want to act like that,” Gray said.
Store hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 am-6 pm, and management is currently looking to hire 6-8 employees at $11 per hour, per full time position. For more information, call, (682) 365-3536.
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