What a bargain!
Owners want customers to enjoy shopping experience while saving money

By JENNIFER McBRIDE - Daily News

Aug. 12, 2015

The exterior of Bargainmart seen Tuesday afternoon in West Bend. The store opened July 30 and offers an array of products including food, clothing, furniture and more.
Photos by John Ehlke

WEST BEND - Shoppers will find a bargain or two tucked away on Chestnut Street. No, that’s a typo. They will find tons of bargains.

Bargainmart opened July 30 and the store’s owners guarantee their prices are lower than any other store, including Amazon. Along with keeping more money in customers’ wallets, the owners want community members to come in and enjoy shopping.

“They are Bargainmart, they help us grow,” co-owner Brad Moran said of the customers. Employees engage with the customers, joke around and have a good time, he said. “We don’t want them just to shop, we want them to have fun and shop.”

Moran, West Bend, along with Josh Frigge, Kewaskum, and Donald Fletchinger of Hartford, own the store. They are relatives.

There is another Bargainmart in Jackson and the trio will open one in Fond du Lac at the end of September or in early October, Frigge said.

“It’s a variety store with fantastic deals,” he said. “We beat any big box stores out there. We scan our products and make sure they beat all others.”

Employee Alyssa Bruss works on stocking the shelves at Bargainmart Tuesday afternoon in West Bend.
Photos by John Ehlke

The building at 325 Chestnut St. was once the Restore. It was vacant when they purchased it April 15. The owners painted, replaced flooring and made it look nice because it wasn’t in the best shape.

There are four employees and so far business has been “great, it’s fabulous,” Frigge said.

Tuesday’s inventory included health and beauty, food, books, DVDs, name-brand furniture, mattresses, laptops, toys, vacuum cleaners and more.

Bargainmart has a few business relationships with companies throughout the United States and the owners go to auctions where they sell merchandise that Bargainmart didn’t sell. They use that money to buy new merchandise.

“We offer the best deals anywhere from what we have and we have a variety of merchandise,” Frigge said. “The coolest things in the store are the products and the atmosphere. We really engage with our customers.”

Some items are overstocks and some packages are slightly damaged but the products are not compromised, employee Alyssa Bruss of West Bend said Tuesday while stocking the shelves.

She said she enjoys coming to work and “it’s the best job I’ve ever had — not just for the money or the hours.” Bruss said it’s a fun environment for employees and customers and the owners are hands-on. She suggests people come in often as stock changes daily.

“It’s like an ever-changing rummage sale,” Moran said.

Aimee Block of West Bend smiles as she adds candy to her cart while pushing a vacuum around she intends to purchase while shopping with her 3-year-old daughter Alexis and Eileen Clauer of West Bend at Bargainmart Tuesday afternoon in West Bend.
Photos by John Ehlke

The owners often see photos of what they are buying, but they also purchase goods by the pallet. “We don’t know what’s in the boxes and it’s like Christmas morning every day,” Moran said.

Bargainmart will have a grand opening celebration Sunday through Aug. 23. A local church will have hot dogs and burgers for sale as a fundraiser. There will be in-store specials, including a raffle for a 1985 Honda Spree motor scooter.

Fletchinger lived in Georgia when he was 18 or 19 and moved to Washington County on Halloween 2013 to help raise his grandson. He and Frigge had business ventures in Georgia and the venture with Moran and Frigge has been nice.

“We get along pretty good, everybody has the best interest at heart and it works out pretty well,” Fletchinger said. Business is good as customers realize the benefits of shopping there.

“Because they want brand names and they want to save money,” he said.

Five-year-old Abby Schneider was having an enjoyable time shopping with family Tuesday. “It’s cool, it’s got kid’s stuff,” she said while holding the stuffed animal she was waiting to put in her cart.

Store hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There is parking behind the store.
 

Reach editor Jennifer McBride at jmcbride@conleynet.com