DERRY — Dollar Bills will return to Derry after a nearly two-year hiatus with the personality and values many larger retailers lack, its colorful owner “Dollar Bill” Burke said.
The business is opening a no-frills public outlet at 115 Franklin St. Extension, a complement to its auction and wholesale company, Burke said. A grand opening is scheduled at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 7.“I think we will be able to offer them price, we will be able to offer them value, and we will be able to offer them personality,” Burke said Friday.
It was Burke’s personality and showmanship that helped build the business and establish its niche in the community during a more than two-decade run.
Dollar Bills offered discounts on a variety of items and featured humorous ads and a local television show. It was a major supplier of discounted products to Southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
But a faltering economy forced the closure of the more than 20,000-square-foot store at 133 Rockingham Road in August 2012, Burke said.
“I think the economy over the last four or five years has hurt a lot of small businesses and middle class Americans,” Burke said.
Despite closing the retail store, Burke continued to receive hundreds of emails from loyal customers who wrote that they missed him and repeatedly asked when the business would return, Burke said.
“I don’t know what it was; it was a great thing and still is a great thing,” Burke said. “It’s just that we had to economically downsize.
”Dollar Bills has continued with a wholesale and auction business that is run out of the same facility on Franklin Street. Both operations have performed well, but something has been missing, Burke said. “I think we are still missing the retail element, missing those customers,” Burke said. “We love the retail; we love the people.”
The retail store will be open four days a week, from Thursday through Sunday and feature discounted items such as candies, paper towels and health and beauty aids, he said.
Dollar Bills is also running videos on the business on YouTube and has received many positive responses back from the community, Burke said. The store is kind “off the beaten path,” and smaller than the former business Burke said.
But this could offer some advantages, he added.
During the grand opening, store manager Craig Yonge said Burke will be “running around like crazy” greeting and interacting with customers. Yonge said free coffee will be offered in the morning, followed by a free lunch in the afternoon. Door prizes will also be offered, along with giveaways, extra discounts, and an exclusive meet and greet with Dollar Bill, Yonge said.