Store owner urges shoppers to go local
Ohio Valley Outlet offers retail brands at outlet pricing
CHESAPEAKE — Since opening in October, the Ohio Valley Outlet has been offering a variety of goods to Chesapeake shoppers, from home décor to toys to pillows to furniture.
“Everything here is new,” owner Melissa Goodwin said of the wide selection of retail brands, most of which comes from overstock and is offered at outlet pricing.
“People in Chesapeake were looking for something different,” she said of the shop, located at the corner of Third Avenue and Fifth Street, across from Chesapeake Plaza. “We’ve done very well.”
Goodwin, who has experience as an entrepreneur, previously owning another shop in the village, said she had to repaint the vacant building, the site of the former Tri-State Variety shop, and do preparation when she bought it.
She said it was not easy opening in a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which began after she signed the paperwork on the location in March of last year.
“You wouldn’t believe it,” she said of the challenges of the past year. “And then, once I got going, the winter storm hit. I’ve said I should be an Olympic star, because I’ve jumped through so many hoops.”
But Goodwin said the store has been doing well, drawing a wide range of customers of all ages.
And she has been able to adapt to the needs during social distancing, offering pick up for customers who order on the shop’s website at www.ohiovalleyoutlet.com.
“We’ll bring it out to you,” she said.
She said they have also been offering 15 percent off for those who check into Facebook from the shop. She said the social media site has been a major help in promoting the shop and estimates 90 percent of customers have found the shop that way.
“It’s been a great tool,” she said.
Goodwin said the area around her shop has seen a lot of activity recently, with the Jamareid boutique opening down the street last week and a bakery set to open soon nearby.
She praises Mayor Kim Oldaker for working with local shops.
“She’s done a fantastic job,” Goodwin said. “She’s been getting people to rent these building and lets them know what’s available.”
She urged shoppers to make their purchases from local shop owners in the village.
“There are a lot of small businesses here and I like to see people support them,” Goodwin said.
The Ohio Valley Outlet is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Saturday and Goodwin said she plans to expand those hours soon. More information on the store can be found at https://www.facebook.com/OhioValleyOutlet.