Merchandise Outlet added Lewiston to our family in the spring of 2015. If you don't know Lewiston, it is a small community nestled within lakes and forestry and trails that are superb for summer cottaging and winter snowmobiling. It is a little town in the midst of a few other little towns, basically lying between Gaylord and Alpena. Lewiston is on the north end of the Merch Trail, but on the most eastern side. Our store is located at 5115 County Rd 612, on the corner of Bear Lake Rd (I guess it's kind of on the main road, but not downtown). We are "sandwiched" in between Family Fare grocery and Subway (pun intended).
Our Lewiston store is a gem of a store that you don't want to miss. It's laid out bright and beautiful with lots of room for all of the great selection of merchandise that you love us for.
Yes, Bonnie is holding the trophy that the store has won 3 out of the last 5 months.
The layout of the store isn't the only "don't miss" of this store. The biggest attraction here is the staff. We have been operating here for 4 years and the majority of the staff have been here from the beginning. Our Lewiston store is what we like to call the party store. For example, there was a not-so-busy day when a couple of women were browsing through the bins of clothing and the music on the radio was just calling to them as they started humming along and swaying a bit. The associate on the floor took notice of this and went to the radio to turn the volume up. The entire floor ended up in a karaoke style dance party. That's just the vibe you get from the Lewiston crew. Don't get me wrong, they aren't straight up crazy and wild - they just enjoy their job, enjoy their customers and love to enjoy their day.
Sue is the leader of crazy in Lewiston. If you know Lewiston, you know Sue. She isn't just well known with us, she is active in the community and loves where she lives. Sue brought with her quite a bit of retail experience, but she says that Merchandise Outlet is by far her favorite place she has ever worked. Her favorite thing about working for Merchandise Outlet is that it is family-owned and you feel like a part of the family as an employee. The company as a whole is extended family, because her crew at the store are her kids - and they all LOVE mom! Sue takes great pride in Merchandise Outlet and loves having it in Lewiston because she loves that people can come in and buy things for their family that they couldn't afford anywhere else. New development as I have been preparing this blog, Sue has just given her notice that she will be retiring from Merchandise Outlet the first part of August. She wants to have the time to enjoy camping with her husband and spending time with her parents. She will be SO missed in the store!
Bambi has also been with Merchandise Outlet - Lewiston since the start. You might recognize her from other places before but this is where she calls home now. Bambi loves the variety of her job. She loves that new people come in every day - all ages; new merchandise comes in every day; new situations happen every day; every day is different. Although you will find Bambi on the floor occasionally, her main job is receiving the merchandise in the back room. It's her job to sort it, check it out, price it, and get it ready for the floor. Yes, go ahead and peek in the back door to say hi. New development - since Sue has given her notice for retirement, Bambi has been identified as the person to take over leadership of the Lewiston store. Congratulations, Bambi!
As I said, part of Bambi's job is to check out merchandise to make sure it's okay- we don't have used merchandise, but sometimes things come in damaged boxes so we need to make sure everything is fine. Sometimes we get things in that we have a hard time even figuring out what it is or what it's purpose is. That's part of the her job. Do you all remember the air couches? Following is an example of Bambi's dedication to her job:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ2EMc8BxnM&feature=youtu.be Until I learn how to put a video in my blog - just copy the previous link and paste to watch the video on YouTube. (Check out at 44 seconds; neighboring employee asks Bambi, "What the heck are you doing?")
This is what Bambi was trying to accomplish, lol!
Debbie also has come to us with a lot of retail experience. Again, a lot of it has been with large corporate companies and she just loves working for a family-owned business. "Even though there are ten stores, I still feel a part of the team of the entire company." Another favorite thing about working here is seeing people getting excited about finding a great deal. Debbie is one of the employees who usually spends most of her time in the back room. Her role is to sort out all of the merchandise as it comes off the truck and get it ready to go out to the floor. Debbie, also, has been with the Lewiston store since start-up.
Maria is another veteran of the Lewiston Merchandise Outlet. She has a heart for Merchandise Outlet and for Lewiston as a community. Maria stated that, "I believe that Merchandise Outlet has changed this community already. I drive by people's houses and see the decorations from our store, I see people clothed in clothes from our store. A lot of these are items that we couldn't afford - but the prices here make them affordable. I am so proud to be a part of that." Maria is at a stage in her life where she has considered "retiring" and being more flexible but her love for Merchandise Outlet and working with her "work family" makes her so happy that she quickly dismisses the thought.
Bonnie has been with Merchandise Outlet since it opened in Lewiston in May of 2015. She loves that the crew of people that she works with are like family and even the customers have become like family. Coming to work each day is like getting together and seeing what family members are coming to visit. For both herself and her customers, she loves the great prices and vast selection of items at Merchandise Outlet. You will usually find Bonnie right up front welcoming you when you walk in the door.
Brittany has worked in our Lewiston store for about 3 years. She spends her time at work in the back, at the front register, and stocking on the floor - she's a jack of all trades. Brittany's family has grown since she started working for us so she thoroughly enjoys Merchandise Outlet for the savings it gives to her young family. She loves that she has fun working at Merchandise Outlet; the merchandise coming in the back is like Christmas everyday and all her fellow employees are like family. "You know when you can't wait to go to work because it is fun, that's a good job."
Mikayla has been a part of the team for about a year. She has just graduated from high school and is looking forward to heading to college. She has enjoyed Merchandise Outlet and having the opportunity to learn the work environment and help build her college fund.
Lori has been with Merchandise Outlet since the beginning in Lewiston. Lori does a great job at keeping the shelves stocked and organized throughout the store. She loves working for a small, family-owned business, but she really loves that the store has hours of operation that enables the employees to have time with their families. Working at Merchandise Outlet isn't the only thing she loves, she is an avid customer (although she does receive some extra perks) and loves the random unique products and having a great time anytime in the store.
Jessica came on board with Merchandise Outlet almost a year ago. You will see her bright, shiny smile up front as you walk in the door. She loves being a part of the company and being able to offer such great deals and variety of merchandise to Lewiston. She personally loves the store hours so she can spend time with her family, but she LOVES the amazing crew that she now calls friends.
Jennifer also joined Merchandise Outlet about a year ago. You will find her flitting everywhere around the store, but mostly up front. You can't miss her huge smile. She loves working at Merchandise Outlet and working with all the girls. She loves the store for it's terrific prices and wonderful merchandise.
If you haven't been to our Lewiston location, you are missing a gem. I've never been in a more welcoming shopping environment. It doesn't even feel like shopping, it feels like going to visit friends. As Maria states, "we offer retail therapy at a whole new level."