Silly Solly's makes a CQ comeback
SILLY Solly's is back in Central Queensland - and so are those rapid fire television advertisements.
Seventeen years after the 40-store discount variety chain was sold to the Warehouse Group in a multi-million dollar deal, the name is making a comeback with three Silly Solly's outlets opening in Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Gladstone employing between 20 to 30 staff.
The added dimension to the iconic brand will be "a nothing over $5" guarantee.
Solly Stanton, the Rockhampton businessman behind the chain name, is teaming up as a consultant for new Silly Solly's Nothing Over $5 owner Brad Walton (of Brad's Bargain Box fame).
If the new Silly Solly's concept is successful they plan to open 20 stores across Queensland over the next two years targeting centres which formally had Silly Solly's outlets.
"The time is right," a pumped up Mr Stanton said in Rockhampton yesterday.
"People have been hurting for a long time. Solly is back and you'll never pay full price again.
"Four or five years ago Kmart was selling t-shirts for $15, now they're $5...Maccas are selling $1 burgers.
"But the online trade hasn't come down.
"That's what makes this unique. No-one is doing this type of thing."
The Silly Solly's Gladstone store at the Kirkwood Shopping Centre and the Rockhampton site at Northside Plaza (opposite Malouf Pharmacies) will open within weeks while the store at Keppel Bay Plaza is set to open in November.
The Keppel Bay Plaza store will take up the old post office space plus three other shops while a larger store will be provided at Northside Plaza after Christmas.
Mr Stanton said people could expect to hear his familiar voice again in a series of energetic television and radio advertisements delivering a flood of bargains in a torrent of words.
"These are nothing over $5 stores," he said. "Just in time for Christmas."
Mr Walton, who grew up visiting Solly's stores as a kid, had the idea to bring the name back again with the $5 approach.
"We have been running Brad's Bargain Box stores but we felt we wanted to do something different so I approached Solly to use the Solly's brand," he said.
"I wanted to give customers something to be excited about and bringing back Solly's is probably the most exciting part of it."
The critical part of their plan is to find "amazing" products to deliver real bargains for customers.
"Products people have been seeing out there for $10 and $20 we will now be offering for $5," he said.
The initial three stores offering is just the beginning.
"We want to go on a massive growth roll-out with this," he said.
" It's really going to take off. We think two years and 20 stores is achievable."
While Queensland is their first priority, expansion into NSW is certainly possible.
"I'm (initially) looking at a lot of areas (towns and cities) where Solly has been before," he said.
"We want people to take their kids there. A lot of people who remember Solly's as a kid have kids themselves now, like myself. You remember going there as a kid getting all your toys.
"We want people to take the lids in get a really great toy and it won't cost you over $5."
Mr Stanton said the 'nothing over $5' concept was for the battlers, the poor people who need a bargain and the rich people who love a bargain.
"People want to see $1 and $2," Stanton said.
"Everyone is hurting, and we want to give the batters a go."