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‘Small Store, Small Prices’

Bigger isn’t always better.
Just ask Carolyn Williams, who has just opened Variety Closeouts, a new women’s clothing store on North Main Avenue in Erwin.
Williams has worked in retail for 20 years, including a stint with industry behemoth Walmart, but for Williams, her store motto — “Small Store, Small Prices” — fits perfectly into her business plan.
“I’m not interested in the business of big corporations,” she said in an interview last week. “I just want my small store right here in Erwin. I’m interested in the people of Erwin and giving women here a place to shop.
“We may be small, but we’re just the right fit for Erwin.”
Variety Closeouts offers a variety of clothing options for women at drastically reduced prices — so low, Williams said with a laugh, that some people have thought her inventory must come off the back of a truck.
“Everything we offer is from warehouse closeouts,” she said. “This is brand-new, name-brand, never-worn clothing.
“I’m not running a thrift shop. These aren’t clothes from yard sales. The clothes we stock are direct from warehouse closeouts.”
Williams said her goal with her new store “is to offer a place for women to get affordable clothes for work, for church or just a treat for themselves.”
“The best part,” she said, “shopping here won’t break anyone’s bank account. I’m trying to make a living, not a killing, so I’m keeping my prices as low as I can.”
For example, she said, Williams has one rack of clothing specially priced at $1.99 each. Other items throughout the store are priced at slightly higher, but still very affordable, prices.
Jeans and capris range from $4.50 to $19.50, while some skirts, pants and blouses are tagged at $3.79. Embroidered denim jackets are offered for $18.50, and white embroidered shirts are priced at $3.75.
Accessories are also offered — sunglasses for $2.65 and nail polish for $1.99, for example. A variety of jewelry, some pieces as low as 79 cents, shine inside glass display cases.
“I just think this is a store Erwin needs,” Williams said. “I hope women here in town will come in and check us out. I think they will like what they see, and, of course, our inventory changes as items are sold and we bring new items in. So we hope to see people again and again.”
Variety Closeouts is located at 1201 N. Main Ave. beside Erwin Physical Therapy at the intersection of Main and Rock Creek Road. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.